Note: have to wonder if BP, NG and local law enforcement have any
kind of plan to deal with these when they come north. Mex. Army has
recovered quite a few from the cartels. Haven't tracked the numbers.
Growing market of armored vehicles
POLICY • 23 FEBRUARY 2012 - 9:41 a.m. - VICTOR HUGO MICHEL
Given the proximity of political campaigns, the coordination of some
candidates accelerate land acquisition of such vehicles, initially
reserved for millionaires, entrepreneurs or multinational executives
Mexico • The call-and-sales have not stopped for two years. Have been
accelerated by the closeness of the presidential campaigns. Have been
the coordination of land of different candidates, the federal
government, a municipality in the north and the Judiciary.
Also a senator, a state public safety secretary and the son of a
prominent politician, to name a few. Everyone wants to be shielded.
Eventually, the industry predicts that all will be. It is nothing new
in Mexico armored vehicles have high demand and sales to grow.
But since 2010, TPS Armoring Company claims to have noticed a new
phenomenon: requests of all colors and sectors of the Mexican
The questions are varied: How much shielding a truck? Would you be
ready for the campaigns? How much is the rent of an armored car? Will
something discreet, to move short distances? "We have attended
numerous prominent politicians who want to be protected. The last
quarter has been very busy, "says Mauricio Natale, vice president of
the Mexican Association of Automotive Shields and manager of the
center of TPS Armoring, a company that controls nearly a third of the
national market for armored vehicles.
In the past two years, a period that coincides with the death of a
candidate for governor, killing two dozen mayors and a federal deputy
and several attacks against federal and state officials, as well as
numerous kidnappings of high-impact, industry Shield has undergone a
The use of armored cars, reserved at first millionaires,
entrepreneurs, executives of corporations or senior, has grown into a
relatively untapped market: politicians at different levels, not
necessarily the leaders or those related to security areas, which now
extend the protection previously reserved for few.
"The market for Mexican politicians, that of popular election, is
growing and will grow much more. The government, for example, has
become a good buyer for us because it is a target of crime, "says
"Before the government bought us seven trucks a year. Now is 70 ".
Figures of the Mexican Association of Automotive Shields confirm a
marked rise in sales of special vehicles.
In 2009, sold 2 000 vans and cars with different types of protection.
In 2010 were 2 000 200. For 2011 the figure had already reached 2 000
930. For the first time, is expected to break the record of 3 000
units in 2012.
Since 2011, Mexico also has an additional distinction reserved only
for countries with high incidence of violence: it is the second
country in the world in which most modified cars are produced
annually, only behind Brazil, which shields an average of 7 000
vehicles of different types each year.
The list of the main consumers of shields includes nations such as
Colombia, Iraq and Afghanistan. "The sales of armored vehicles in the
country rose last year only 35 percent," said Natale.
According to their data, sales of TPS are divided and 70 percent for
private-executives, entrepreneurs and a growing segment of
professionals, and 30 percent for the public sector, in which areas
never before ordering shields now call for protection.
This is the case with the judiciary, now using armored vehicles. "The
government spent five years in vests on patrol. But now is investing
in Humvees. Before it was just the Attorney General's Office or the
Ministry of Public Security, but now we buy the Federal Judiciary
Council, which previously were not consumers of armor, but now to
protect judges, "he said.
Natale, a native of Colombia, participated in the boom of the shields
being raised in that country during the violence of the 80's - he
says it's only a matter of time before Mexican politicians at all
levels to emulate their peers Colombians, who for 20 years moving
basically if it's only armored van.
"Today, in Colombia all senators, deputies, judges have armored
vehicles, because crime reached a point where it was necessary to
shield them if they wanted to continue with democracy. Here the road
will be the same. How much later, I dunno. But the trend is in the
same direction, "he said.
- Now that the presidential campaigns begin and called them?
-We have been contacted by various government entities. They want a
service that we give them special.
In Mexico the use of shields is not uniform: as TPS, in the north are
acquired mainly level four vehicles capable of withstanding assault
rifle attacks, especially by the fear of being user with a command of
drug traffickers and kidnappers .
In Mexico City, the use of armor is Level 2 or 3, to repel small arms
only. For fear of assaults callejeros.En recent years, industry has
also been engaged in a kind of technology race with organized crime,
to try to reduce the vulnerabilities of their vehicles.
For example, have been reinforced door seals, which used to be easily
penetrated. And now, it has become standard practice to shield the
floors to avoid the threat of explosive grenades or land.
TPS records shows additional data. Not only sales have skyrocketed
since 2010. Also the number of attacks: their shops have come in the
last two years at least 15 vehicles with bullet holes, both
politicians and entrepreneurs from around the country. It lists,
unprecedented attacks in Mexico.
The catalog of the company, which MILLENNIUM had access, shows nine
SUVs, three pickup trucks and a sedan, and two other trucks, shot in
Some have relatively little impact, as happened to a BMW that was
shot five times on Oct. 14, 2010 or a shot Tahoe on June 22 of that
year, with five shots. Also a Suburban, attacked on 9 August de2010,
with 40 shots.
Other units were targeted fusilatas true. The trucks of the Public
Security Secretariat of Michoacan and the Public Security Secretary
Escobedo have, together, over a thousand 400 rounds of various calibers.
In both incidents, the bullets failed to penetrate the armor.