Armored “Monsters” Haul Drugs to US Border

By Luke Walker 01/18/12

Mexican cartels are fortifying drug transportation trucks with heavy armor and gun turrets.

One of the cartels' "monsters" Photo via

Mexican Police have seized 110 armored vehicles this week in the Mexican border state of Tamaulipas; officials say the heavily fortified trucks are used by cartels to transport narcotics to the US via rugged desert trails. Twenty of the vehicles were of a type termed “monsters”—smothered in bullet stifling protection, fortified with thick steel plates and reinforced with railroad tracks, some of these behemoths weigh in at up to 30 tons. They also feature multiple gun turrets to deter would-be robbers, police and US border patrol. Such heavy machinery has been born from the ongoing turf war between rival cartels. One officer involved in this week's seizure explains, "The cartels are fighting to control and protect these routes both for drug- and people-trafficking and in the opposite direction for the smuggling of weapons to Mexico, as well as to bring in a large quantity of merchandise illegally."

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