Mexico Authorities Target Cartels’ “Homemade” Armor Vehicles


Authorities in the northern region of Mexico have announced the destruction of 14 homemade armored vehicles that are commonly employed by drug cartels in land battles. These vehicles, known as “monstruos” or “Monsters” in Mexico, are typically modified from commercial trucks by welding steel plate armor onto them. Some of the vehicles that were disposed of were truly imposing, featuring thick steel ramming prows attached to their fronts, firing ports, and gun turrets. Notably, one of the vehicles was even painted in green camouflage to resemble a Mexican army vehicle.

Video footage released by the federal attorney general’s office captured the moment when one of the vehicles was dismantled by a claw-wielding crane in the state of Tamaulipas, which shares a border with Texas. The authorities did not disclose the specific cartel to which these vehicles belonged or the dates of their seizure.

Although these armored cars may appear formidable, their practical effectiveness is limited. The added weight from the steel armor renders them slow, unwieldy, and prone to frequent breakdowns. Moreover, their distinctive appearance makes them easy to identify, and they seem to be susceptible to incendiary devices or munitions, as evidenced by many of them being discovered in burned-out conditions.

The utilization of these homemade armored vehicles demonstrates the extent to which Mexican drug cartels are willing to go in their battles against rival factions and law enforcement agencies. The cartels employ an array of weapons, including improvised explosive devices and drones equipped with the capability to drop bombs.


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