Since 1990, over 170 drug tunnels have been found between the US-Mexico border. These smuggling tunnels are used for getting drugs, weapons and illegal immigrants past the ruthless border protection of the United States.
Why do the Cartels make these elaborate tunnels? To get past this…
Most of the tunnels are crudely made over a long, desperate attempt for Cartels to get drugs and cash to and from the United States. These tunnels are dug to avert the strict and sophisticated US Border Patrol which has the land side of the operation pretty much covered with the use of drones, thousands of patrol officers, snipers, sensor technology, infrared and night vision sensor helicopters. The only way for Cartels to go now is underground.
To get past these countermeasures, Cartels are constantly looking for vulnerabilities in the system to exploit. The question of whether or not there’s moles in the Border Protection Service is questionable as Cartels seemingly try and often succeed at getting past authorities.
Tunnels that are discovered are blocked and destroyed. These tunnels range in size from enough to fit a single man through to elaborate rail systems with ventilation and electricity. Such a bust was discovered in December 2012 with a 3 foot diameter and an American football field in length which also had electricity and ventilation. Authorities were surprised at the sophistication but it wasn’t to be the biggest tunnel they were yet to come across.
The most sophisticated tunnel has been the cross-border ‘super tunnel’ linking a warehouse in Tijuana to San Diego, California. This is a huge 2.4 mile long tunnel that ran 35 feet below the surface, 6 feet high and 3 feet wide. This area the tunnel was found is known for its soft clay like earth which means the tunnel was constructed faster than the other tunnels. Authorities found eight tonnes of weed and 147 kg of cocaine in the tunnel. This super tunnel was equipped with lights, ventilation, electricity and an electric rail system. Three men were arrested and are facing life sentences.
Watch the below video on the San Diego Tunnel Task force who’s job it is to discover, block and investigate these drug tunnels.