Photo: Courtesy of El Blog Del Narco
From ultralight aircraft to homemade narco-submarines, Mexico’s drug cartels have long been on the cutting edge of drug trafficking technology. But the discovery of the cartel’s newest weapon – nicknamed El Monstruo 2011 – effectively puts a lid on any debate over whether the cartels are at war over their drug smuggling routes.El Monstruo 2011 is a homemade armoured tank, the latest weapons innovation from Los Zetas, one of Mexico’s largest and most brutal drug trafficking organisations.
El Blog del Narco reports that the Mexican army captured the vehicle last week in Ciudad Meir, a border town that has been the site of a bloody turf battle between Los Zetas and their former bosses, the powerful Gulf Cartel.
Army officials say the new model is an upgrade from previous armed vehicles used by the cartels. El Monstruo 2011 has a top speed of 68 mph and could hold up to 12 people.
Officials said they expect similar vehicles are already being used by Los Zetas, primarily in the violent northern border state of Tamaulipas.
The Zetas organisation – originally the enforcement arm of the Gulf Cartel – is widely seen as the most technologically advanced and violent of Mexico’s drug gangs. The tanks represent a significant escalation in the cartel’s use of paramilitary tactics to fight its turf wars and respond to the government crackdown on the cartels.
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