Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
The Military Transportation Technology

Mexican Cartels Build Mad Max Narco Tanks 343

Hugh Pickens writes "Not content with building their own submarines, using bazookas, rocket-propelled grenades or land mines, drug cartels are now building armored assault vehicles, complete with gun turrets, inch-thick armor plates, firing ports and bulletproof glass. The monsters look like a cross between a handmade assault vehicle used by a Somali warlord and something out of a post-apocalyptic Mad Max movie, and have already appeared in several confrontations with Mexican authorities. A look inside a captured 'monster' truck (YouTube video) reveals that in addition to swiveling turrets to shoot in any direction, they have hatches and peepholes for snipers, their spacious interiors can fit as many as 20 armed men, and they are coated with polyurethane for insulation and to reduce noise. Still Patrick Corcoran writes that the armored vehicles are not a game changer. 'While the "narco-tanks," as the vehicles are often called, make for great blog fodder and provide entertaining videos, seeing their rise as a significant escalation in Mexico's drug war would be wrongheaded,' writes Corcoran. 'In the end, the "tanks" are a sexy narrative, but these mistaken notions about the criminals' "military might" not only inflate the power of Mexico's groups far beyond any reasonable assessment, they also obscure the problem, and its potential solutions.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Mexican Cartels Build Mad Max Narco Tanks

Comments Filter:
  • solutions... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Azghoul ( 25786 ) on Saturday June 11, 2011 @08:19AM (#36410182) Homepage

    "its potential solutions."

    What, you mean like ending the hideous and utterly failed drug 'war'?

  • bullshit. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by unity100 ( 970058 ) on Saturday June 11, 2011 @08:22AM (#36410196) Homepage Journal
    the person who wrote the article apparently doesnt know shit about military technology and history.

    an armored personnel carrier is an armored personnel carrier. the fact that these are produced, and used means that the party using them has the means to produce them and use them. this shows an escalation of the situation.
  • Re:solutions... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Hazel Bergeron ( 2015538 ) on Saturday June 11, 2011 @08:22AM (#36410200) Journal

    It hasn't failed at all. It's providing a tidy profit for all those who intended to gain from it.

  • Problem? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DrBoumBoum ( 926687 ) on Saturday June 11, 2011 @08:33AM (#36410240) Journal

    they also obscure the problem, and its potential solutions.

    The problem is prohibition and the solution is to stop it. Difficult to grasp?

  • Re:bullshit. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ThunderBird89 ( 1293256 ) <zalanmeggyesi AT yahoo DOT com> on Saturday June 11, 2011 @08:54AM (#36410326)

    Except that this is not an APC. It's a truck with shit bolted and welded on, not much more than a glorified technical [wikipedia.org]. It's just like Marvin Heemeyer's armored bulldozer [wikipedia.org], only constructed not for defense, but offense, and are only proof against small arms, as the officer said, not heavy weapons or anti-materiel/anti-tank rifles.

    The fact that the drug lords are deploying these means they're desperate: smuggling operations fail, so the only way for them to make money is to try and bust through the border. It's certainly an escalation, but not a very dangerous one if handled correctly.
    These things, judging by the looks of them, are not cheap to make, despite being improvised. If the military makes one big push now, ramps up Predator patrols, deploys Barret M82-s/XM109-s (if they're completed, the 25mm HE round should certainly prove adequate to defeat the weaker portions of the armor while remaining man-portable) and other heavy weapons, possibly even tank patrols along the border and MLRS units stationed at regular intervals, they might bankrupt the drug lords, or at least convince them that trying to assault the US border will keep costing more than it makes for them if they keep losing technicals at the same rate.
    However, if they don't man up and replace jeep patrols with something that packs more punch, these things are going d what they were made to do, and will befeat the border guards, returning the revenue to the drug cartels.

  • Re:solutions... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday June 11, 2011 @08:59AM (#36410346) Journal

    What failure? Private prisons funnel tons of dollars straight from the tax payers to the multinational cartels, a single drug bust can ensure you have a large underclass ready for exploitation for everything from booze and smokes to lotto tickets and check cashing places, it helps to keep the population under control while giving a nice excuse to make the police more and more like a military operating on home soil, while also helping to get rid of those pesky little things like the fourth amendment...oh...were you actually thinking it was about stopping drugs? Silly peasant it is about profits for the megacorps, just like everything else.

    After all if it was about "The People" then pot would be legal, we wouldn't be fighting three wars while funneling ever more money to Wall Street and the MIC, nobody would touch Medicaid and Medicare, the military would be less than half the size and not building new aircraft carriers and superweapons like we had a war planned with the Ruskies for next Tuesday, but where is the room for massive profits and corruption in that? That is why your "vote" is a choice between "Rich corporate ass kisser in a blue suit" or "Rich corporate ass kisser in a slightly darker blue suit". Any choice that might actually listen to the people would cut into profits! Mustn't have that now, can we?

    BTW how's that "Hope and Change" thing working out? Turned out to be nothing but Dubya dipped in chocolate huh? I'm afraid the late Bill Hicks [youtube.com] nailed it more than 20 years ago. How sad is it the man has been gone for two decades and if anything his words are even more true now?

  • Re:Problem? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Saturday June 11, 2011 @10:33AM (#36410804)

    There's a reason why the constitution doesn't include the right to do whatever drug you might want to do.

    Funny how over a century passed between the constitutional convention and the beginning of the drug war. I suspect the constitution does not explicitly grant the right to use drugs because the founding fathers could not envision a world in which the US government would try to outlaw the use of hemp/marijuana, coca, or opium, let alone the broad classes of plants and chemicals that are illegal to possess in this country.

  • Re:Problem? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DrBoumBoum ( 926687 ) on Saturday June 11, 2011 @10:42AM (#36410868) Journal

    alcohol is still a very serious social problem, killing and hurting more than pretty much anything else

    And the problem was totally solved during prohibition right?

  • Re:Problem? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by corbettw ( 214229 ) <corbettw@ y a h o o . com> on Saturday June 11, 2011 @11:24AM (#36411112) Journal

    Yes, absolutely. It's not like it wasn't legal once upon a time, and we didn't have drug cartels murdering 10 9/11's worth of innocent people every single fucking year when it was.

    Prohibition does not work, let people do what they're going to do anyway. We could tax it and spend the money gained from those taxes on free rehab for those who need it. We'd save untold billions of dollars and, far more important, all those wasted lives.

  • by bit trollent ( 824666 ) on Saturday June 11, 2011 @12:09PM (#36411468) Homepage

    Barack Obama has made it American policy to not go after medical marijuana dispenserise though George W Bush (and to be fair Clinton) did attach these legal (at a state level) and illegal (at a fed level) dispenseries.

    I wonder what Mitt Romney would do about medical marijuana. I wonder if he would tolerate it as much as gay marriage.

    I remember that universal healthcare that W passed. And the financial industry regulation.

    Also, I remember how George W Bush, didn't go out of his way to punch the environment in the balls, exempting natural gas fracking from the clean are and clean water acts.

    Bad politicians thrive on a population that's too ignorant to tell the difference.

    By the way.. guess which party supports unlimited anonymous "campaign contributions"..

    I'll give you a hint.. Republicans support it, and installed supreme court judges to legalize unlimeted anonymous bribery, while Democrat appointed judges voted against it (in a 5-4 decision) in the Supreme court.

    But.. yeah... it doesn't matter who you vote for. That's the best thing to keep the Sheeple from voting for progress.

    A Republican house majority has once again kicked America in the balls, but luckily there are dumbasses like you who can't tell the difference.

  • Re:Problem? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dachshund ( 300733 ) on Saturday June 11, 2011 @12:29PM (#36411672)

    Note going to work, there's always going to be another psychopath willing to take up where the last one left off.

    On the contrary. Drug running is a business, and right now it's a competitive one. The cartels mostly build their military capabilities because it increases their ability to get product to market. If having big fangs and teeth was a disadvantage --- i.e., it increased their costs or threatened their existence --- then they'd be outcompeted by less violent cartels.

    As an example, over the past decade the NYC police have revised their cocaine enforcement to target street dealing, but mostly leave non-violent apartment dealing alone. The result has been a huge drop in violence, since the dealers can make more money by keeping a low profile. This stuff really works.

    I'm not sure if prohibition is a good solution. Maybe some good, some bad. But since it's clearly not on the political table right this second we at least need to target the real problem before it gets beyond our control.

Someday your prints will come. -- Kodak