The Sinaloa Cartel used armored vehicles custom fitted with high-caliber rifles and protective covering in clashes with government security forces in Culiacán, Sinaloa, last Thursday.
The fighting broke out when security forces arrested the son of convicted drug trafficker Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán. In response, the cartel launched an attack to rescue Ovidio Guzmán, immersing the city in terror for hours.
One vehicle that called particular attention was a blue Ford pickup truck modified to resemble a small tank. The bed was completely enclosed with bulletproof plating, and projecting from the top was a protected movable turret fitted with a machine gun.
Videos of the vehicle circulated on social media, accompanied by pleas for help from citizens. It was the first time such a vehicle had been seen on the streets of Culiacán.
In one such video, the vehicle drives through a line of army trucks and a tank. The army tank moves out of the way of the cartel tank while soldiers fire upon it without causing any damage.
The cartel also utilized two white pickup trucks with armored siding and .50-caliber rifles mounted in the beds. In videos taken by frightened civilians, the trucks are carrying two gangsters, one operating the machine gun and the other armed with an AK-47.
The Secretariat of Public Security is reported to have recovered 20 vehicles, either burned or abandoned, in the areas of the city that saw fighting. The blue mini-tank, however, was not among them.
Source: Milenio (sp)