Community police in Guerrero have found a dump truck repurposed as a war tank that belonged to the leader of the Los Rojos crime gang, Santiago “El Carrete” Mazari Hernández, who was arrested two weeks ago.
Members of the United Front of Guerrero Community Police (FUPCEG) located the vehicle – which they nicknamed “El Monstruo” (The Monster) – in El Tecomazuchitl, a community in the state’s Sierra region.
The tank was taken to Tlacotepec, the municipal seat of Heliodoro Castillo, and parked at the entrance to the town where it will remain on display.
“We want society to see how El Carrete spent the money that he obtained from the kidnappings and extortion he carried out from the Sierra,” said FUPCEG spokesman Salvador Alanís Trujillo.
“El Monstruo” is reinforced with steel plates and has small openings on its sides to allow occupants to shoot from within the vehicle.
The tank also has a cupola, or hatch, on its roof that can be used as a lookout and to fire at enemies.
According to FUPCEG members, Mazari, who was arrested on August 1 after a three-day confrontation between community police and Los Rojos, planned to use the tank to carry out an incursion into Filo de Caballos, a town in the municipality of Leonardo Bravo notorious for violence and the cultivation of opium poppies.
Alanís Trujillo said that in the same community where the converted dump truck was found, “El Carrete” had set up a training camp for about 70 armed members of Los Rojos.
The camp was used as a base for criminal activities that included kidnapping and extortion primarily targeted at business owners and politicians in Morelos, the community police spokesman said.