[credit provider=”Courtesy of pickuptrucks.com”]
Police in Mexico have reportedly seized a Ford pickup truck fitted with steel armour, the latest innovation in homemade armoured vehicles used by Mexico’s drug trafficking organisations.The so-called “narco-tank” is a 2011 Ford F-Series Super Duty with steel armour plates welded to nearly every surface and a folding battering ram, or “man-ram” fitted to the front bumper, the BBC reports. The cargo bay was transformed into a metal cabin, complete with gun ports and a rotating turret, presumably to protect passengers from gunfire.
The tank was found abandoned in a rural area of Jalisco, a state in western Mexico that is a hotbed of violence in the escalating drug wars. It is not clear what criminal group had been using the vehicle.
Jalisco is the former stronghold of Ignacio “Nacho” Coronel, a top boss for the powerful Sinaloa Cartel who was killed in 2010. Since his death, the cartel has been locked in a bloody turf battle with the Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion, a new drug gang thought to be made up of remnants of other criminal groups.
Mexican authorities have often complained that the drug trafficking organisations are better armed and equipped than the security forces. Other cartel weapons innovations include other armoured vehicles, such as El Monstruo 2011, narco-submarines, and ultralight aircraft. The innovations point to the growing militarization of Mexico’s drug cartels.