During 2008 we saw an influx of weapons on the cartel side that was very interesting. Almost as if they​ were giving someone a shopping list.

Several of the law enforcement agencies started to procure armored vehicles for their command structure since it was very clear the criminal groups were specifically​ targeting them and some of the governor’s and municipal presidents.

We experienced several attempts by cartel hitmen being stopped by armored vehicles and fast thinking drivers.

Naturally, they went looking for a can opener. We quickly started finding 50 cal variants of all sorts being used to penetrate vehicles. We also started to see very creative ways of stopping them like bursting balloons filled with oil based paint​ in them on windshields to blind the drivers.

And every now and then you would see granade launchers being utilized like the case of one high ranking security official in Mexicali that almost got taken out by a group of sicarios in the early part of the drug war in Baja.

There is always an escalation.

Author – Ed is a security specialist and combatives instructor with over 10 years experience in public safety along the northern border area of Mexico. He runs seminars and private training specific to anti-abduction, escapology, free hand and unconventional edged weapons work. He is also director of Libre Fighting Systems in Mexico.

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