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Bulletproof boom: armored cars in Latin America

Ariana Cubillos / AP

A worker installs a bullet resistant window on a brand new armored car in Cagua, Venezuela. According to Horacio Zuniga, business manager of the Bogota-based glass manufacturer Glassek, Venezuela is the Latin American country with the biggest growth in sales of bullet-resistant windows. Venezuelans are coping with increasing numbers of abductions, robberies and killings, driven at least in part by ineffective law enforcement that allows the vast majority of crimes to go unsolved and unpunished.

I wonder how much it costs to put level 3 armor on a car.

AP reports:

CAGUA, Venezuela — Ever since a gunman tried to rob his father, Venezuelan businessman Dumas Rojas has insisted on driving cars armored with windows strong enough to withstand the bullets of a .44 Magnum.

"As far as I'm concerned, personal security right now is priceless," said Rojas, 33.

In Latin American countries from Brazil to Mexico, the affluent are increasingly shielding their cars as a precaution against violence that has thrived due to weak police forces, easy access to guns and young, unemployed men on the lookout for lucrative targets.


Ariana Cubillos / AP

Workers assemble a brand new armored car in Cagua, Venezuela.

Ariana Cubillos / AP

A worker cuts Kevlar, a bullet resistant material that will be used on a brand new armored car, in Cagua, Venezuela.