Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Where the tunnels are: Nogales, not Douglas

Every month or so, on average, the U.S. Border Patrol has reported the discovery of another smuggling tunnel in Nogales over the past few years. Meanwhile, during that same time period, it has been a rare occurrence to find a tunnel in other places along the U.S.-Mexico border in the Tucson Sector. According to David Jimarez, a public information officer for the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector, a total of 37 tunnels were found from Oct. 1, 2008, until today. Twenty tunnels were discovered in the sector in fiscal year 2009 (Oct. 1, 2008, to Sept. 30, 2009). All of them were located in Nogales. During fiscal year 2010 (Oct. 1, 2009, to Sept. 30, 2010), there were seven tunnel discoveries in the sector. Of those, six were located in Nogales. Only one tunnel, and it was incomplete, was located in Douglas that year. And, for this current fiscal year, which started Oct. 1, 2010, Border Patrol reports that all 10 tunnels found in the sector so far have been located in Nogales. Some tunnels are quite sophisticated. One tunnel, found in early May of this year in Nogales, was 15 feet below the surface and about 250 feet long. It measured three feet wide by five feet high, and contained electricity, water pumps and ventilation...more

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