Heavily armored vehicles — similar in design to so-called "Monsters" used by the Zetas cartel in firefights against the Mexican military and the Gulf Cartel — were seized Saturday, June 4, 2011, by the Mexican Army in Ciudad Camargo, across the border from Rio Grande City. The military announced the results of the warehouse raid in a news release Sunday, June 5, 2011
The Mexican Army announced Sunday night the results of a raid at a warehouse that was being used as a makeshift machine shop by cartel members to build armored assault vehicles.
The raid took place Saturday in the Prolongación Gonzalez area in the city of Camargo, across from Rio Grande City, during a routine patrol where a military convoy came across the warehouse, according to a news release from the Mexican Army.
As a result of the raid, the Mexican military seized two dump trucks that had been heavily armored and modified to carry a squad of gunmen. The two trucks were painted black.
The military also seized two other dump trucks, 23 tractor-trailers, four backhoes, two trailers, seven load-bearing attachments for trailers, seven towing platforms, one tractor and some ammunition and magazines.
The military didn’t report any confrontations or arrests.
The military didn’t state which criminal organization the heavily armored trucks belonged to, but in other parts of Mexico, armed forces have found similar designs belonging to the Zetas, who typically call the vehicles “Monsters.”
The Monsters have been used by the Zetas in a number of firefights — both against their rivals, the Gulf Cartel, and the Mexican military. The heavily armored vehicles vary in design, ranging from modified Ford F-350’s to large tractor-trailers — all armored in makeshift shops and painted black.
In one firefight last year, in rural northern Tamaulipas, the Gulf Cartel defeated a squad of Zetas who were using Monsters and — after the fight — spray-painted insults on them. Those Monsters were later found by authorities.