The Mexican drug trade business is booming. Drugs are flowing between Mexico and the U.S. on a daily basis, overwhelming the Mexican military and U.S. border patrol officers. Most of the drugs arrive stateside via cars and trucks, and the vehicles transporting contraband range from a Rolls Royce to a VW Rabbit. The New York Times spent some time in Sinaloa, Mexico with Mexican General Federico Solórzano at what looked to be a used car lot.
The general's troops have seized 766 vehicles to date ranging from Jaguars to brand new SUVs to classic muscle cars. Custom choppers, pickup trucks and sports cars are all accounted for on the lot, but these vehicles are different from cars and trucks you can purchase at your local dealership: they have secret compartments for carrying drugs and weapons across the Mexican boarder. The vehicles housed untold millions of dollars in addition to automatic weapons in false sidewalls, modified bumpers and trap doors. General Solórzano reportedly told the NYT that vehicles have been retrofitted with bullet-proofing tech, machine gun turrets, secret compartments that hold sharp nails for police cruisers in hot pursuit and even a smoke machine to assist in losing the Federalis.
The vehicles are being stored at a military base because drug traffickers have raided police facilities and took back the vehicles seized near the border. In total, the Mexican government is said to have over 14,000 vehicles in its possession, yet tons of drugs make the trip from South America to the U.S. without detection. The vehicles will eventually be sold at auction or will be used by other federal agencies, but the apparent crawl of the Mexican legal system means trials are sometimes years away. Head over to the NYT to read more about the vehicles that bring drugs from the Mexican boarder to a town near you. Pretty interesting stuff. Top tip, Mehul!
[Source: New York Times | Image: Jesus Alcazar/AFP/Getty Images]