Did a Canadian company manufacture the armoured vehicle used by Mexican police to repress a student protest?

Published by Brent Patterson on

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Photo by Voices in Movement.

On February 3, La Jornada reported: “Riot police evicted with tear gas about 100 students from the Mactumactzá rural normal school, who demonstrated in the center of Tuxtla Gutiérrez to demand the hiring of 33 workers for that school.”

A student told La Jornada: “First the municipal police harassed us and then the grenadiers arrived. Then came one of the tankettes from which they launch tear gas. …We condemned the eviction because we were not doing anything, we were peaceful.”

Voices in Movement also tweeted: “Riot police officers use tear gas to disperse about 100 students from the Rural #Mactumactza Normal School who were demonstrating in downtown Tuxtla Gutierrez to demand the hiring of 33 workers at the school.”

What kind of “tankette” is this? Is it possible that it is a Canadian-made armoured vehicle?

We note similarities between the tankette in the photo above and this photo of the Spartan light armoured vehicle manufactured by the Streit Group.

We offer this side-by-side photos as a way to compare and contrast and to help identify what type of vehicle this might be.

The Globe and Mail has reported: “Streit Group, founded in Canada in 1992, is today based in the United Arab Emirates. It describes itself as one of the world’s biggest armoured-vehicle manufacturers, with a work force of 3,000 in five production plants (including one in Canada) and the capacity to produce 500 vehicles a month.”

Canadian manufacturers of armoured vehicles also include Toronto-based INKAS Armored Vehicle Manufacturing and Newmarket-based Terradyne Armoured Vehicles.

When concerns have been raised about Canadian-made armoured vehicles being used against National Strike popular mobilizations in Colombia in 2021, Global Affairs Canada spokesperson Jason Jung responded: “Canada is monitoring developments in Colombia and will take appropriate action if credible evidence of the inappropriate use of any controlled Canadian product or technology is identified, including to perpetrate or facilitate serious violations of international human rights law.”

We continue to express concern about the sale of Canadian arms and equipment to security forces that are used in the violent repression of protests or in other breaches of established human rights laws and norms.

Photo: Colombian police use what appears to be a Toronto-based INKAS-manufactured armoured vehicle to stop buses of delegates travelling to Cali for a popular assembly related to the national strike on July 17, 2021.

In 2016, the Amnesty International Surviving Death report demonstrated that “the Mexican police and armed forces routinely torture and ill-treat women, and that sexual violence is routine during arrest and interrogation.”

In 2019, Terradyne highlighted that it had sold its vehicles to the Nuevo Leon police in Mexico. It has also sold its Gurkha RPV vehicles to the Veracruz Fuerza Civil (civil force) and its MPV to the Ministry of Public Security in Ciudad Guadalupe, Nuevo.

Last year, Terradyne exhibited their vehicles at the annual CANSEC arms show in Ottawa. That arms show will take place again this year May 31-June 1.

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