Now, under any definition, Mexico is a third world country: our government is bursting with corruption, costing us up to 10% of our yearly economic output in the process, over half of our population is economically challenged (over 20% of us are under the poverty line.), random militias spark around the country, and we didn’t ally with the US or the USSR, again, any definition.
You may ask “But if half of the people are poor, what about the other half?” Well. About 14% of Mexicans are, according to INEGI, “Upper class” these men (I do mean, men) own most of the country’s wealth. But, because the government is unable to properly secure our streets from criminals, these rich individuals indulge in a very specific and stupid symbol of wealth: Bullet-proofing.
Seeing Range Rovers, S-classes, Cayennes, Escalades, etc is common in Mexico City’s rich Polanco, Virreyes, and Santa Fe neighborhoods. Coloured in dull metallic black paint these cars are often the top end models. “Supercharged”, “s600”, “Turbo S” “Platinum” read many the badges stamped on these vehicles. But more lurks within the surface of these vehicles because many of these come with a feature that is not listed in the options catalog: bullet-proofing. Hundreds of special engineering companies focus on vehicle bullet-proofing, Mexico is such a large market for bulletproof luxury vehicles that BMW assembles their bulletproof 7-series in a huge plant on the outskirts of Lerma, rather than Munich.
These vehicles are very expensive, a Range Rover Sport may cost a hundred thousand dollars, but if you wish to have your’s bullet-proofed to the lowest, “nivel 3” bullet-proofing you must give away thirty-five grand more, the warranty, and four weeks. The result? Your Range Rover is now 350 kilograms heavier, blessed with thermoformed Kevlar-plastic fiber panels and 21mm (4/5 in.) polycarbonate glass. If you pay the legal, reputable armorers, you also get a certificate by the secretariat of defense that they know who you are and how your car is equipped. Optional are Kevlar run-flat systems, an exhaust protection mesh, siren systems, strobe lights, a communications device, and even goddam pepper-spray.
If you were to bulletproof a suburban but you wanted to be protected from shotguns you would have to splurge on the Heavy Duty model (which is sold by regular dealerships here) but everyone calls it the “ocho birlos” in reference to the eight lugnuts holding the wheels. After buying said car (I mean vehicle), you would have to spend more than 45,000 dollars on the more expensive “nivel 4.”But, no longer will your car come with pitifully Kevlar fibre, it is replaced with heat-treated quarter inch ballistic steel, cut into intricate pieces and welded by professional crews into your car’s body. The glass? Well it’s not 21mm anymore but 45mm (1¾in.). Although the heavy-duty suburban is meant to carry heavy loads, the armorers will likely replace stock shocks with heavy duty ones, The hateful floating calipers will be replaced by slotted, six-piston AP racing brakes(or brembos), the rims will now have plastics attached to them so that if your tires are shot, you can continue. Your already heavy Suburban will now weigh more than three and a half tons, meaning that you would supposedly require a light duty truck license to drive it. The vinyl-upholstered suburban will also have a market value of over one hundred thousand dollars. At least the armoring depreciates way slower than the car it’s attached to.
This is fascinating because its so dumb, specially those bulletproofing Cayennes and Panameras. They feel so unsafe that they´d rather wreck a sports car with bulletproofing than addressing the problems we have as a society.