El Blog del NarcoExclusive HS News Contributor
Narco Blog: Cartel’s Monster Trucks Confiscated by Police Including “Popemobile” look-a-like (VIDEO)
Photo: Monster Trucks
“The Cartels use these vehicles to guard their drug trade routes,” said an officer of the Eighth Military Zone, based in Tamaulipas state in the northeast border with the United States. Members of the Army have seized in the region about 110 armored vehicles, including over 30 “Monsters”, which saw them inevitably evoke scenes from the movie “Mad Max”.
Most are heavy trucks that have been shielded in Mexican sweatshops, mainly in Tamaulipas. Some of them have the capacity to hold 12 shooters, the source explained.
During an operation in June 2011 a workshop was dismantled in the town of Camargo, where they seized two units already finished and were ready to be shielded.
Very particular specifications
One of the “latest models”, seized last year, exceeds 30 tons because it was covered with thick layers of steel and its defenses were reinforced with railroad ties.
Another vehicle is similar to the “Popemobile,”. It is a pickup truck where the rear cabin is very similar to the vehicle used by the Pope, only instead of glass has metal plates.
“Vehicles are constructed of steel plates of at least one inch. The small caliber projectiles such as bullets from assault rifles are not able to penetrate the shield. Only heavy weapons or antitank shells can effective.
The cargo area is where the cabins are built with peepholes and hold handles.
“No traveling on roads or in cities, but they operate on local roads, which are the routes used to bring the drug to the U.S. border,” the military source said.
The nickname of “monsters” is because they move at night and their sinister appearance, that only highlights their lights, which usually are on the top front of your eyes and they look like monsters moving through dark paths.
The war being waged by the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas led them to develop these armored vehicles to protect their routes of movement of narcotics.
The source stressed that Tamaulipas has large semi-desert plains, with hundreds of gaps and roads where the drug dealers move in light vehicles, which are escorted by the “monsters”.
One of the most popular routes to move drugs from Central America is a lonely country unpaved road that begins in the Laguna Madre from the Gulf of Mexico and reaches the town of San Fernando, Tamaulipas, the official added.
On this route is the abandoned warehouse where they were killed in August 2010, 72 migrants, most of Central America, by a group of assassins in the service of Los Zetas.
“The cartels are fighting to control and protect these routes for the drug trade, human trafficking, and conversely for smuggling weapons into Mexico, and to bring in many goods illegally,” concluded fountain.