Cartels Add Tanks to Arsenal in Mexican Drug War

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A Slideshow Gallery of tanks and submarines used by Mexican drug cartels

Mad Max has arrived big time in Mexico. In a style reminiscent of the Mad Max movies, Mexican drug cartels are now using homemade tanks in their arsenal in the Mexican drug wars just south of the US-Mexico border.

The vehicles, which carry the moniker, “narco tank” and “monstruos” or monster trucks, are customized cars, SUVs and dump trucks equipped with gun turrets, inch-thick armor plates, firing ports and bulletproof glass.

The Gulf and Zeta drug cartels employ the narco tanks in the drug war between the rival gangs and against the Mexican government’s military which has been trying to quash the viciously violent drug war—a war that has taken more than 35,000 lives in the last four years.

“Organized crime has increased its firepower to move personnel and mount counterattacks against the army,” said security adviser Alberto Islas in Mexico. “This is the consolidation of an urban guerrilla war scenario.”

Some of the assault tanks are equipped with battering rams, are reportedly able to top 60 mph and can spew ala James Bond tire-flattening nails or oil slicks designed to disable or slow down pursuing vehicles.

The monstruos are merely the latest tool used by the cartels. They have also employed homemade submarines, ultralight aircraft and highly adapted tunnels beneath the border to move their drugs into the US.

All of these tools are simply part of the arms and technology race between the cartels to provide an edge in the drug war between the cartels and the military.


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