Third drug tunnel found under US-Mexico border
By Dialogo July 16, 2012
TIJUANA, Mexico — The Mexican army uncovered another drug smuggling tunnel beneath the US-Mexico border July 13, one day after the discovery of two others was announced.
The latest tunnel, still under construction, was 350 meters (383 yards) long and 1.7 meters (5ft 7in) high, linking the border city of Tijuana with San Diego in southern California. Forty tons of marijuana were seized.
“Military troops discovered another tunnel under construction to transport drugs,” said a defense ministry statement, adding that the tunnel was some 10 meters (11 yards) underground.
The tunnel had a ventilation system, wooden supports and part of a system of rails to transport drugs, General Gilberto Landeros said at a news conference.
The entrance was found in a storage building about 250 meters (273 yards) from the border, and had not yet come out on the U.S. side.
The tunnel had an altar with a picture of the Virgin Mary and another of Jesús Malverde, a saint not recognized by Catholics but venerated by drug traffickers, notably in the northwestern state of Sinaloa.
Almost at the same time, in another warehouse in a rural area east of Tijuana, soldiers seized 40 tons of marijuana stored in five trucks.
Three people were arrested, Landeros said, adding that it was not yet known to which drug cartel the tunnel or the drugs belonged.
Authorities from the two countries said they had unearthed a 240-yard (219-meter) drug tunnel from the Arizona town of San Luis across the border to San Luis Rio Colorado, on the Mexican side, on July 12.
Separately, the Mexican army found a 150-meter (164-yard) tunnel from Tijuana to the U.S. side of the border the same day.
Last November two major drug smuggling tunnels were found near the Mexican border with California in Tijuana, one of them 400 yards (366 meters) and the other 600 yards (549 meters) in length.
Over the past decade at least 86 tunnels have been discovered in Arizona, and 50 in California, officials said.
[AFP, 14/07/2012; Eluniversal.com.mx (Mexico), 14/07/2012]