Mexican Drug Lords Building DIY ‘Tanks’ (Video)

Spencer Ackerman writes in WIRED’s Danger Room:

How ill are the Mexican drug wars getting? The drug cartels are building their own armored trucks.

Rival drug gangs are playing around with really serious military hardware, including .50 caliber machine guns and grenades. At least some of them figured out an armoring solution for the uptick in firepower: armoring. Chop shops add inch-thick steel plates to a standard truck chassis like that of a Ford F-150. At least 100 of the so-cold “El Monstruo” monster trucks have been discovered by Mexican security officials this spring, with the most recent two found this weekend.

Read More: WIRED’s Danger Room

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  • Hadrian999

    neat but useless and seriously easy to counter

    • Butter Knife

      Not sure why you think something like that would be useless OR easy to counter. The cartels have been engaging in small arms fire fights, and such a vehicle would be largely immune to such weapons. It could be used to move heavier weapons into battle, to extract personnel or merchandise, or simply as cover.

      In terms of countering it… short of anti-vehicle mines or rockets, not much is likely to cause serious damage to that thing. Even an RPG is unlikely to fully breach or incapacitate it on the first shot, and such weapons are costly and logistically challenging to deploy. While it’s hardly an insurmountable challenge, it would be several orders of magnitude harder than stopping, say, an unarmored and unmodified pick-up truck or van.

      • Hadrian999

        doesn’t take a javelin to take out wheels and axles, it is also top heavy and high profile making tipping it a concern and restricted to roads. anyone with half a clue would disable one of those fast

        • SCHMN

          what are you fucking steven seagal?

          • Hadrian999

            just a former infantryman

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1537370469 Aaron Lawless

            Good thing there are a lot of roads in Mexico. As far as it being a tipping point, if they drive carefully i.e. on a fucking road, it kind of negates that. Unless you’re planning on going riot style and rocking it back and forth, I don’t see your point. It may make it a tactical weakness in the country, but then again they drive on roads. As for the wheels and axles, if they are up armoring trucks it would be pretty easy to have run flats. Kinda like those things in those one thingies the Army drives? I mean, you were in the infantry. Surely you had to change a run-flat a time or ten. They aren’t exactly classified. Axles? Shyeah after months of constant training 99 percent of even infantry guys couldn’t put a quick round in a 4 inch target at fifty yards, and that’s only if its stopped. If that thing is moving, you might as well be shooting the wings off a fly. It’s a shame they teach you to think that you’re such tough shit if you’re just a fucking infantryman. 13 weeks of training my grandmother can do and half of you asses get sand hill tattooed on your ass cus you think you’re tough. Least of all things most of you are is smart. If you were, you’d think about what kind of training your enemy has. Most of the guys fighting for that cartel picked up an AK last week and fired a mag in the air for practice. They can’t shoot for shit. That thing would be a formidable force in any urban conflict. Know your place. Former Small Army man.

          • Hadrian999

            wow a legit internet tough guy, those runflats ain’t all they are advertised and rolling something that conspicues in a city will get you more trouble that it can stand up to, you can think what you like but you can prettymuch guarantee any of those get used in an urban setting it’ll eat a rocket from a chopper end of story

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1537370469 Aaron Lawless

            Of course, it wouldn’t stand a chance with a rocket. I’m talking small arms.

          • Hadrian999

            massed small arms fire would do a number on it’s undercarriage, you don’t have to pierce the main armor to take it out of play, it’s conspicuous nature and lack of mobility make it very difficult to use, when i was in the army i was attached to an armor battalion I know what happens to big armored things without proper support.

      • Anonymous

        couldn’t you just discharge a CO2 fire extinguisher into the front vents and kill the engine?

        or discharge one into the side vents and kill the people…

  • Hadrian999

    neat but useless and seriously easy to counter

  • Butter Knife

    Not sure why you think something like that would be useless OR easy to counter. The cartels have been engaging in small arms fire fights, and such a vehicle would be largely immune to such weapons. It could be used to move heavier weapons into battle, to extract personnel or merchandise, or simply as cover.

    In terms of countering it… short of anti-vehicle mines or rockets, not much is likely to cause serious damage to that thing. Even an RPG is unlikely to fully breach or incapacitate it on the first shot, and such weapons are costly and logistically challenging to deploy. While it’s hardly an insurmountable challenge, it would be several orders of magnitude harder than stopping, say, an unarmored and unmodified pick-up truck or van.

  • Hadrian999

    doesn’t take a javelin to take out wheels and axles, it is also top heavy and high profile making tipping it a concern and restricted to roads. anyone with half a clue would disable one of those fast

  • FergalR
  • Anonymous
  • SCHMN

    what are you fucking steven seagal?

  • Hadrian999

    just a former infantryman

  • Anonymous

    It would be a lot more useful if the armor plate wasn’t so obvious. ….and what about the wheels -shouldn’t they be protected? 

  • GoodDoktorBad

    It would be a lot more useful if the armor plate wasn’t so obvious. ….and what about the wheels -shouldn’t they be protected? 

    • Hadrian999

      all the armor in the world is useless when the wheels/axles can be taken out

      • GoodDoktorBad

        They are lumbering beasts that may as well have the words “Assault Vehicle -focus your fire here!!” (or its equivalent in Spanish) painted in day-glow on it. 

      • AFC

        The car may not move, bu the people inside will be alive (and shooting!)

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1537370469 Aaron Lawless

      They could use run flats. Same thing that is in humvees.

      • Hadrian999

        a humvee and a truck that size with that much after market plate are 2 different things, it’s not just the tires is the axles too, the firepower that would be directed at one of those would destroy the runflats

  • Hadrian999

    all the armor in the world is useless when the wheels/axles can be taken out

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1537370469 Aaron Lawless

    They could use run flats. Same thing that is in humvees.

  • Hadrian999

    a humvee and a truck that size with that much after market plate are 2 different things, it’s not just the tires is the axles too, the firepower that would be directed at one of those would destroy the runflats

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1537370469 Aaron Lawless

    Good thing there are a lot of roads in Mexico. As far as it being a tipping point, if they drive carefully i.e. on a fucking road, it kind of negates that. Unless you’re planning on going riot style and rocking it back and forth, I don’t see your point. It may make it a tactical weakness in the country, but then again they drive on roads. As for the wheels and axles, if they are up armoring trucks it would be pretty easy to have run flats. Kinda like those things in those one thingies the Army drives? I mean, you were in the infantry. Surely you had to change a run-flat a time or ten. They aren’t exactly classified. Axles? Shyeah after months of constant training 99 percent of even infantry guys couldn’t put a quick round in a 4 inch target at fifty yards, and that’s only if its stopped. If that thing is moving, you might as well be shooting the wings off a fly. It’s a shame they teach you to think that you’re such tough shit if you’re just a fucking infantryman. 13 weeks of training my grandmother can do and half of you asses get sand hill tattooed on your ass cus you think you’re tough. Least of all things most of you are is smart. If you were, you’d think about what kind of training your enemy has. Most of the guys fighting for that cartel picked up an AK last week and fired a mag in the air for practice. They can’t shoot for shit. That thing would be a formidable force in any urban conflict. Know your place. Former Small Army man.

  • Hadrian999

    wow a legit internet tough guy, those runflats ain’t all they are advertised and rolling something that conspicues in a city will get you more trouble that it can stand up to, you can think what you like but you can prettymuch guarantee any of those get used in an urban setting it’ll eat a rocket from a chopper end of story

  • Anonymous

    They are lumbering beasts that may as well have the words “Assault Vehicle -focus your fire here!!” (or its equivalent in Spanish) painted in day-glow on it. 

  • Xplicitriding

    While everyone is raging about how dumb this is, i have to hand it to the mexicans This is pretty cool lol! Admit it guys you wanna drive that shit in a zombie apocalypse? Yeah you do…

  • Xplicitriding

    While everyone is raging about how dumb this is, i have to hand it to the mexicans This is pretty cool lol! Admit it guys you wanna drive that shit in a zombie apocalypse? Yeah you do…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1537370469 Aaron Lawless

    Of course, it wouldn’t stand a chance with a rocket. I’m talking small arms.

  • Anonymous

    couldn’t you just discharge a CO2 fire extinguisher into the front vents and kill the engine?

    or discharge one into the side vents and kill the people…

  • http://twitter.com/D351 D351

    The warfare implication is kind of scary, but you know what…. I want one. Obvious armour is so much cooler looking than disguised armour. It reminds me of Road Warrior.

  • http://twitter.com/D351 D351

    The warfare implication is kind of scary, but you know what…. I want one. Obvious armour is so much cooler looking than disguised armour. It reminds me of Road Warrior.

  • Hadrian999

    massed small arms fire would do a number on it’s undercarriage, you don’t have to pierce the main armor to take it out of play, it’s conspicuous nature and lack of mobility make it very difficult to use, when i was in the army i was attached to an armor battalion I know what happens to big armored things without proper support.

  • AFC

    The car may not move, bu the people inside will be alive (and shooting!)

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