Drug tunnel on US-Mexico border uncovered

Drug tunnel on US-Mexico border uncovered

Tijuana : Mexico | Aug 14, 2011 at 11:13 AM PDT
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Tunnels Used to Smuggle Drugs

The Mexican authorities uncovered a drug smuggling tunnel near US-Mexico border.

Following a dramatic surveillance operation, Mexican soldiers uncovered on Friday a drug tunnel being constructed inside a Tijuana house that links the Latin American country to California.

Armed forces swarmed on the site just as daybreak broke and surprised the ten people digging at the site with shovels.

At a media presentation, officials showed off the nine men and one woman and said the yet-to-be-completed tunnel was big enough for a grown man to stand in and was outfitted with electrical and ventilation systems.

"The army has located a narcotunnel approximately 298 metres long, one metre wide and 1.8 metres high along with ten alleged offenders," said General Alfonso Duarte.

It is believed Mexican cartels have bored scores of tunnels under the U.S.-Mexico border in recent years to counter ramped-up security at ports of entry and the rugged spaces in between. Nearly all of them linked cities on either side of Mexico s border with California and Arizona and are well-concealed inside humble houses in typical suburban areas.

In early 2006, border agents discovered a 730 metres (2,400 feet) tunnel running under the same stretch of border to Otay Mesa from Tijuana. It remains the longest such tunnel to date.

Mexico is in the grip of a raging drug war that has killed nearly 50,000 people since December 2006, when President Felipe Calderon launched a crackdown on powerful drug gangs.

Tijuana is the principal gateway for drugs entering California from the Latin American country. Last month, Mexican soldiers set alight 300 acres of marijuana authorities believe were destined to pass through such tunnels that litter the country s borders.

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A US agent stands guard in a drug tunnel found along the Mexican-US border
A US agent stands guard in a drug tunnel found along the Mexican-US border
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