The Mexican drug war has been big news for a good longtime now, and with good reason – there have been a reported 33,000 casualties since late 2006. Mexican authorities claim that most of the violence has been contained to rival gangs and Mexican authorities, but a series of kidnappings and reported extortion schemes have middle class families looking for automotive protection.
It's no coincidence, then, that the Toronto Sun reports that armored car sales are up 20 percent in 2010, with 1,900 vehicles reworked to take on everything from bullets to bombs. Armored vehicles have typically been purchased by big corporations and Mexico's wealthy, as the conversion prices tend to be prohibitive for average families. Increased attacks on government officials have also led to additional orders from municipalities and police forces, and the Toronto Sun says that shops specializing in armoring have been working overtime to keep up with demand.
We don't doubt that armored car sales are up, as bullet-resistant vehicle sales are up in many countries. But how many "middle class" families can afford a $120,000 armor job? Other less costly alternatives range from a $300 bulletproof vest to a $4,000 leather jacket that can stop small arms fire.