• Dec 16, 2009
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]


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  • 26 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is my chance to get a car just like the one from Spy Hunter for the Nes :-)

      Who wants to drive my 18 wheel get away/refuel truck???
      • 5 Years Ago
      @BoxerFanatic

      Even if socialism is as bad as you think it is, we are far from becoming one. We're not even a capitalist nation anymore, more or less "free market". We live in a corporatist nation where corporations have special freedoms and rights that do not apply to the average American citizen. I value freedom, but I sure as hell don't value a system that puts profits and power WAY ON TOP on everything else, compared to people's lives.

      The "War on Drugs" was idiotic enough to begin with. You cannot literally declare war on a piece of plant or some chemical that is developed by nature or man, and is almost universally used by every nation on planet Earth. If you enjoy trying to catch the Road Runner, and continuously failing at it, that's what the War on Drugs is all about. It can never be won, because its' objective was stupid enough to begin with, and it's putting an even bigger financial drain on the taxpayers, more-so than even legalizing a harmless drug.

      And you're worried about American society crumbling because of one stupid plant? I'm more worried that our government will declare bankruptcy one day, and THAT day will be even worse than the day we legalize any less harmful drugs.

      Drug cartels may not have taken over Mexico, but I sure as hell wouldn't put any hope in Mexico's government to put an end to this, least of all, even ours. Especially when they're much more corrupt than the drug dealers they're chasing.

      I never said that Europe's or Canada's health-care systems were perfect or "state of the art" as you so eloquently described. I'm not going to argue against that. But, at least, they won't deny you care based your income or if you have any "pre-existing conditions" in your previous life. At least their system doesn't force you to just opt for the government plan, if you don't want it. Private insurance is also available in those countries. What do you think everyone's reform arguments are about? To have a hybrid system similar to what Canada and what most of Europe has.

      And honestly, rationing? Give me a break. Aren't we already rationing whatever medical supplies we have? Being denied care or your coverage because you're uninsured or because your medical history is listed with one of those dreaded conditions. Guess what? That's also called rationing. With the way our health-care is right now, America is bound to go bankrupt at some point in history because our medical expenditures are so far off the charts, that it's almost impossible to pay anything off. If you're even thinking of giving me that "free market" BS in health-care, you'll just be ignored.

      Health-care may be an economic burden, but it is a necessary evil, like government. Unless, you like the idea of living in an anarchist country like Somalia.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The points have been made before, and refuted before.

        The US has had pseudo-free-market health care provisioning up until now... with unfortunately ever-increasing government involvement, moving further and further away, which has been the impetus of higher costs, and over-regulation preventing truly competitive private health insurance.

        Health insurance should be no less competitive in the open market than car insurance providers, life insurance, homeowner's insurance or grocery stores and car dealers.

        THE GOVERNMENT regulates that health insurance cannot be sold across state lines, and all sorts of other regulations that fly in the face of insurance companies competing to offer the best products for individual consumers.

        Using the point that the government is encroaching more and more, is not a valid reason to insist on MORE government encroachment. The infiltration of the government into the market needs to be reversed, not sped up. It is the problem, not the solution. You can't solve a problem with MORE of that problem.

        We have the state of the art, most widely available, most easily accessible health care system in the world... by private enterprise. We most definitely DO NOT live in Somalia.

        That is a ridiculous analogy, and defeats your credibility.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Maybe end the drug war?
        • 5 Years Ago
        no you can't.

        but the should legalize weed/hasj and double to forces on the other drugs.

        you can't end the war, because than would happen the same, the happend in china 500+ years ago.
        the amount of useless people would increase superfast, i talk about the harddrug people.

        in the netherlands, it's legal to sell weed/hasj and xtc can be tested in special locations.
        the netherlands have a way lower number of drug users, than other nations who ignore the thing.
        if a police agent finds stuff, like small amounts speed, coke or whatever in your pants, they will take it, they tell you ... sorry, i don't trust it and gone is the material and you're free to go.
        no handcuffs or a drive to a station.

        i have even read that people caugth with up to 3kg of coke in their lugage on the airport goes free, without the matrial of course.
        because there is simply no space enough to lockup all those people, so many people are involved.
        the airport contains a prison.

        there is a quite a few nations witch are so poor. where people have no other choice than grow ... whatever is needed to make coke, heroin.

        we're only catching the people that run the stuff.
        no the people that make the sfuff, neither the ones that sell it.
        so basicly we lock up the runner, poor people, many of them threatened or just ocasialy envolved.
        i think this a bad thing and doesn't solve the problem.

        i think we need to talk with these nations, else attack them and give the mobil phones, cars, a regular live witch most of us have.


      • 5 Years Ago
      @ Styx and M3Driver...

      Socialism IS as bad as it sounds, and worse. Anyone who values the freedom to live as they choose to, should NEVER utter the words "socialism isn't so bad".

      And styx, health care in those countries may be state run, but they are not state of the art, and they are not instantly accessible, and are rationed. Most of the western european countries are now trying to scale back toward private systems, as public systems are drastically overloaded. but health care is another issue, that I merely mentioned as an economic burden.

      We can discuss the merits or de-merits of legal marijuana vs. Tabacco vs. alcohol, if you want. They are all vices. I tend to agree that prisons are far too full of people, and would like the judicial system to adopt more of a recompense-based sentencing system for criminals that do not pose an imminent safety threat to others. Prisons are seclusionary for a reason, but not every crime requires a seclusionary sentence. But again, that is another discussion, perhaps for another time.

      But secret compartments for guns, and the majority of the war on drugs, and such, is concentrated on harder drugs than Marijuana. Drug cartels have not taken over most of Mexico based on the street price of weed. There are much harder, much more destructive substances on the market than that, and that is not to exclude home-spun Methamphetamine, which is also highly destructive.

      And I will say it again... the social safety net is not big enough, nor well supported enough to withstand legalization of controlled substances, which many comments in this thread suggest should happen.

      It will further drain the taxpayers into destitution, while paying the already destitute to continue to destroy themselves, without any effective rehabilitation. Why re-habilitate from an addictive drug, if the addictive drug is now legal, and thus tacitly approved?

      The "War on Drugs" is a fallacy in the fact that politicians are running it. Or NOT running it... hell, some are probably complicit in it, if their tax cheating, law breaking, conflict of interest track records are any slight indication of the rest of that submerged ice-berg of corruption.

      But the cost to society, both financially, and culturally/morally would be much higher to tacitly accept destructive behavior and substances as legal, acceptable activities. The moral base of this country and culture is not strong enough to discourage self-destructive behavior as it is... (look at most of pop culture, and how vice-addled it is, and how many popular figures die untimely deaths, mostly due to substance abuse...)

      There is no way it would be better if that activity were even more widely acceptable, by being technically legal.

      And I am getting more than a little tired of being told that I don't know what I am talking about, when I am the one making the reasoned points in defense of both freedom an overbearing nanny state that tries to care for everyone, but balancing that with rightful illegality of controlled substances that are destructive in their use.

      I know what socialism is. I have done my research and reasoning, and continue it every day, in keeping up with current events.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Boxer, don't bother stooping down to these dopes. You have made some very good points my friend. With your stance, you have won already in these arguments. And I believe this country has more people who have more sense like you.

        Arguments presented here by the pro-weeds/crack/cocaine/ecstacy/newly-developed-drug-being-sold-by-a-loser-in-the-corner-alley, all have one thing in common - to legalize them. At least with alchohol, you might wake up the next day with a headache/hangover. But with drugs, you get addicted to it, it sits in your head, you are sober yet you are hooked, and you WILL come back, and you WILL defend it, and even cite other 'more bigger' things we should be worrying about. I'll laugh out loud when they find out their addicted wives/daughters/sisters are f*cking with the pusher so they can get their fix.

        "Never argue with idiots, they will drag you down and beat you with experience."

        Bye!
        • 5 Years Ago
        I stand firmly with you on this one friend. Too bad your good, solid points will fall on deaf ears. Things will get much worse before folks start to say, "Oh crap! What have we done?" Healthcare will be rationed, no question about it, for obvious reasons. And when you speak of legalizing drugs, all the weed fans focus on is weed, when the real issues, as you pointed out, are from the harder stuff. Whatever. All we can do is hope for the best at this point.
      • 5 Years Ago
      One more reason to legalize marijuana. It wont fix it, but one less drug being trafficked would help right?
      • 5 Years Ago
      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.

      Could corruption and bribery be the reasons for this?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Corruption and bribery, of course... but in the US. How can you explain all the blow and weed in America without help of local authorities??? They are part of the business too. Thats why it will be almost impossible to end drug traffic. Producers in one side of the border, and entrepreneurs and consumers in the other.

        The only possible way would be to legalize it, as soon as a cartel is reduced, another appears. Demand is pushing production up and both countries governments (USA and Mexico) close eyes in an activity that also leaves a lot of earnings in side business, like weapons, expensive houses and cars, etc.

        To really stop this thing about cars, they should be destroyed.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Reminds me of a story of my dad’s:

        He was a hippie driving a Ford Maverick with side-pipes thru the desert for hours while leaving Mexico with his hippie friends in the 1970s. A US border agent thought he had him smuggling and grabbed the “fake” side-pipes with his bare hands. Hilarity ensued…
        • 5 Years Ago
        How about we mandate that anyone caught running drugs (ie carrying more than a personal amount) gets a swift and speedy trial (no more than 30 days from incarceration to sentencing) and mandatory 50 year sentence in one of Joe's tent cities (no AC, TV, recreation, etc.) + hard labor.

        That includes first time offenders and all the other sympathy-card playing gangbangers (minors, illegals just "doing jobs that Americans won't", etc.)

        Oh, and no deportation for foreign runners until after they serve the sentence (it's a shame I have to point that out).

        You'll see the "talent" pool dry up overnight - problem solved.

        The old west (and the country) was better when it was run by men*, not pantywaists out of DC who won't do the obvious.

        [*men=people with 'nads, not necessarily physiologically male. ex. Margaret Thatcher was more the "man" than 90% of our politicians today]
        • 5 Years Ago
        @notYou

        "How about we mandate that anyone caught running drugs (ie carrying more than a personal amount) gets a swift and speedy trial (no more than 30 days from incarceration to sentencing) and mandatory 50 year sentence in one of Joe's tent cities (no AC, TV, recreation, etc.) + hard labor. "

        We could the death penalty, and the only thing that would happen is the profits for the drug business go up, along with, of course, your precious taxes.

        That includes first time offenders and all the other sympathy-card playing gangbangers (minors, illegals just "doing jobs that Americans won't", etc.)

        How one-sided is your world view, simpleton?

        Oh, and no deportation for foreign runners until after they serve the sentence (it's a shame I have to point that out).

        You'll see the "talent" pool dry up overnight - problem solved.

        Along with the overall population, after the crime in order to pay for the even more expensive drugs, not to mention drug dealers getting even more money in the process, are factored in!

        The old west (and the country) was better when it was run by men*, not pantywaists out of DC who won't do the obvious.

        [*men=people with 'nads, not necessarily physiologically male. ex. Margaret Thatcher was more the "man" than 90% of our politicians today]

        Real men know prohibition doesn't work. Didn't work with alcohol, or the forbidden fruit from the Garden of Eden for you Bible thumpers. Still won't work. The pantywaists (what year is it, anyway) subscribe to the "cost of society will be too great" crap, while we incarcerate people at five times the rate of the world average and have higher drug addiction rates than most places in Europe (commie Europe, that is)
        • 5 Years Ago
        weed/hajs should be legalized and sold, like in holland in coffeeshops.
        the liberated forces can focus on other drugs.

        this would be more effective.
        it's a war you can't win nor loose.
        it's all about TAX money, nothing more, nothing less.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Sold at auction? Are they serious? Who do they think are going to buy them? THE DRUG LORDS!
      • 5 Years Ago
      The U.S. Army should buy the bulletproof, low-profile cars to send to Iraq and Afghanistan. Cheaper than a Humvee or MRAP, bring less attention with space for your soldiers or CIA spooks equipment.
      • 5 Years Ago
      'yet tons of drugs make the trip from South America to the U.S. without detection.'

      calculated risk
      • 5 Years Ago
      What a ridiculous waste of time, money and effort.
      Legalize it, tax it, and distribute it not unlike alcohol or tobacco.

      War on Drugs is an absolute failure.
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