7 Incredible Narco Tanks Built By Mexican Cartels

As violence in Mexico raged with intense competition between rival drug cartels and the Mexican government, the cartels came up with a radical solution for improving their capabilities in the street.

Through ingenious engineering, and by taking a page out of “Mad Max,” cartels created so-called narco tanks.

These home-made armored vehicles, also known in Spanish as “monstruo” for their hulking size, reached peak popularity in 2011 as the Mexican military seized a garage from the Los Zetas that was being used to construct the vehicles. Four narco tanks were seized in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas in addition to an additional 23 trucks that were awaiting modification.

The Mexican military’s subsequent crack-down on the creation of monstrous forced the practice to go underground. Narco tanks are still produced, but today’s versions have their armored paneling on the inside so as to not draw unwanted attention from rival cartels and the military.

Below are some of the most impressive narco tanks from the vehicles heyday.

The behemoth versions of narco tanks were created from modified semi trucks.

Mexican cartel tank

Photo: screenshot/YouTube

Dump trucks were also modified into massive steel-plated monsters.

A narco-tank seized in Monterey, Mexico, in 2011.

A narco-tank seized in Monterey, Mexico, in 2011. (Photo: screenshot/YouTube)

Even smaller narco tanks were armored almost completely with steel plates that could be upwards of 2 inches thick.

Mexican narco truck

Photo: Screenshot/YouTube

As part of further defensive measures, the tanks were usually equipped with double wheels.

mexcian narco tank

Photo: Screenshot/YouTube

Offensively, narco tanks had armored turrets and weapon bays on the side, out of which cartel members could point assault rifles.

narco tank in Mexico

Photo: Screenshot/YouTube

Some vehicles were equipped with battering rams to plow through traffic and any potential roadblocks.

full frontal Mexican cartel tank

Photo: Screenshot/YouTube

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This article originally appeared at Business Insider Defense Copyright 2015. Follow BI Defense on Twitter.

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