03 August 2012

MEXICO / USA : Prolific And Profitable Border Narco Tunnels...Uncovered.

         LONG READ

    "Since 1995 more than 90 illicit underground passageways have been discovered in various states of completion in the two-mile stretch of urban frontier that separates Arizona’s Nogales from its far larger twin in Sonora.
      Twenty-two complete tunnels have been found in the past three years alone. Streets have opened up beneath unwary pedestrians and subsided under heavy vehicles; the city has become infamous as the Tunnel Capital of the Southwest."
    AND : "The two cities grew up around the border crossing, and on both sides houses and stores now press as close to the line as the law permits. Nogales, Sonora, sits on high ground, with its Arizona twin below it, in the narrowest part of a valley forming the end of a seasonal flood plain.
    "Some tunnels cost at least $1 million to build and require architects, engineers, and teams of miners to work for months at a stretch. A few include spectacular feats of engineering, running as much as 100 feet deep, with electric rail systems, elevators, and hydraulic doors. Yet the economies of scale are extraordinary. Tunnels like these can be used to move several tons of narcotics in a single night.   
      The tunneling boom reflects not only the extent and financial torque of the Mexican cartels’ operations -- estimated in a 2010 Rand Corp. report to turn a $6.6 billion profit every year -- yet also the futile nature of attempts to secure the U.S. border against drug smugglers."