Friday, February 23, 2024

Military patrol finds narco-tunnel running beneath Rio Grande

Mexican authorities have discovered a tunnel under the Rio Grande connecting the cities of  Matamoros, Tamaulipas, and Brownsville, Texas, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reports. 

Mexico’s National Defense Ministry (Sedena) has taken charge of the investigation into the tunnel, discovered during a patrol near the bank of the river by the army. 

Located about 50 meters from the river, the tunnel was equipped with a generator, water pump and hoses. The subterranean passage measure 1.5 meters high and 80 centimeters wide, but had partially collapsed due to rains in the area, which could explain the related equipment which may have been used in the tunnel’s repair. Three clips of ammunition of different calibers were also found nearby.

The length of the tunnel has not been reported, nor its terminus on the U.S. side, although social media reports indicated it led to the Brownsville neighborhood of Southmost.

Matamoros is under the control of the Gulf Cartel and it is likely that the tunnel was dug to run drugs, weapons or people from one country to the other.

Tamaulipas public security spokesman Luis Alberto Rodríguez said that investigations into the tunnel are being coordinated with seven federal agencies of the United States in order to strengthen cross-border collaboration, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Texas Department of Public Safety. A working meeting on the topic was held Wednesday. 

“Priority criminal targets that operate on the border were reviewed, as well as effective communication mechanisms to strengthen bilateral cooperation,” Rodríguez said, as both countries work together toward capturing criminals in the border region. 

Source: El Universal (sp), The Brownsville Herald (en)

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