Mexican authorities have discovered a sophisticated smuggling tunnel equipped with electricity and ventilation not far from the Nogales port of entry into Arizona, U.S. and Mexican officials said Friday.
The Mexican army said the tunnel was found Thursday after authorities received an anonymous call in the border city of Nogales, Sonora, south of Arizona. U.S. law enforcement officials confirmed that the Mexican military had discovered the football field-long tunnel with elaborate electricity and ventilation systems.
U.S. Border Patrol spokesman Victor Brabble said the tunnel did not cross into the U.S.
This is not the first, nor the only; in fact,
More than 70 such tunnels have been found since October 2008, most of them concentrated along the border in California and Arizona. In Nogales, Arizona, smugglers tap into vast underground drainage canals.
In other drug war news, the war is not only against law enforcement, it’s also cartel vs. cartel, for territory:Nine slain in Mexican town as cartels clash in Sinaloa
A group of armed men stormed a town in the mountains of the western state of Sinaloa on Christmas Eve and shot nine men to death with assault weapons, then dumped their bodies on a sports field as part of a war between Mexico’s two most powerful cartels, officials said Wednesday.
Sinaloa state prosecutor Marco Antonio Higuera Gomez said the town of El Platanar de Los Ontiveros had become part of a dispute between the Sinaloa cartel controlled by Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, Mexico’s most-wanted man, and remnants of the Beltran-Leyva cartel who have allied themselves with the Zetas, a paramilitary organized-crime group founded by ex-members of the Mexican special forces.
Another cartel fight is raging to the south, along the border between the state of Jalisco and Michoacan. At least seven people have been killed in the area since Sunday. Officials in both states said Wednesday they could not confirm local media reports of more than a dozen new deaths in clashes in the area. Michoacan authorities did report the slaying of a mother and her three children in the capital, Morelia, which has been mostly spared the worst of the state’s drug violence.
Prosecutors said 41-year-old Maria Elena Lopez Bautista and her 19-year-old daughter and 18- and 13-year-old sons appeared to have been tied hand and foot with wire and burned to death inside their home on Monday.
Officials did not speculate on the motive for the crime, but the border with Jalisco has been hit by clashes between Michoacan’s dominant Knights Templar cartel, and the New Generation cartel that operates in much of Jalisco.
With the PRI back in power in Mexico, and marijuana legalization in the USA, 2013 will be an interesting year.
Cross-posted at Liberty Unyielding.