Drug tunnel found on Mexico US border

September 3, 2008 12:00 am

, MEXICO CITY, September 3- Mexican police discovered an air-conditioned drug-smuggling tunnel less than 60 meters (65 yards) from the border in northwest , state police said.

The 140-meter-long (150-yard), 1.3-meter-wide and five-meter-deep tunnel included an electric rail for container transport, ventilation and lights as well as air-conditioning, said Juan Miguel Guillen, director of police in northern Baja California state.

State officers arrested eight suspects after discovering the tunnel under a house during a patrol in the town of Mexicali, across the border from Calexico in the , Guillen said.

"The detainees confessed that they were looking after the building where a drug tunnel was being built," he said.

Agents from the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) were carrying out excavations across the border to find the tunnel’s exit point, he added.

Most of the cocaine and marijuana that reaches the is trafficked through , and much of the country’s extensive drug trade is controlled by cartels based in border areas, who are waging increasingly violent turf wars.

Drug-related violence has spiked across since President Felipe Calderon, who took office at the end of 2006, launched a crackdown on drug trafficking and related attacks, with almost 3,000 killed this year.


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