Mexican Boutique Sells Bulletproof Duds

Specialty boutique sells protective shirts, jackets to anxious customers
By Laurel Jorgensen,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 6, 2008 3:35 AM CDT
In another sign of escalating violence in Mexico, the body of Alexia Belen Moreno, 12, is covered in a car in Ciudad Juarez in June. She was caught in a gun battle between drug dealers.   (AP Photo/Diario de Juarez)
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(Newser) – As drug-related violence skyrockets in Mexico, anxious shoppers are buying bulletproof shirts and jackets for protection, the New York Times reports. A boutique in Mexico City sells only bulletproof garments, including leather jackets, polo shirts, windbreakers, and even tuxedo shirts. Who's willing to pay up to $7,000 for such fashion? Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, royalty, and movie stars are said to be among the company's top shoppers.

The shirts are designed to repel the kinds of sudden attacks that have pushed Mexican businesses and families to invest $18 billion on private security. The boutique carries out background checks on customers to make certain they aren't linked to organized crime. It also demands that employees take a bullet while wearing the product, so they can vouch for it. "It feels like a punch," said one worker. Not bad, given the alternative.