WATCH: rise of the super drug tunnels: California's losing fight against smugglers


Blackmarkets are the only True “Freemarkets”


I’ve loved tunnels since I was a kid, especially hand-dug ones - as long as they don’t collapse and kill you.

I’ve only had limited direct experience with black markets though.


I wonder at what cost/benefit point we start to see cartels go drone-crazy.

Launch a shitload of them all at once… maybe have them drop their cargo at some point but keep on flying… seems like an obvious way to go.

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I especially like the part where the Law Enforcement Agent says they can start making a profit the first day the tunnel is open, my immediate thought was there is no way that they can close them down fast enough to achieve the agents stated goal. Unless they are catching the tunnels during their creation and catching at least most of the tunnels the economic incentive has not been removed.


How do you find a tunnel? Keep rapping on the ground till you hear a hollow place?

Is there an electronic sweep that could detect tunnels so the search would be faster and more complete?

For some reason, this reminds me of the behavior of the “spiders” in Vernor Vinge’s “A Deepness in the Sky”!

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Apparently, Israel is interested in high tech solutions to its tunnel problems.


From a quick search it looks like it starts with infra-red, followed up by LIDAR and ground penetrating radar.

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Well thanks. Now I know who to call.

If they can do 100 mi a day, and maybe the border is 2000 mi long (total guess), then in 20 days they can do a full sweep. It probably takes more than 20 days to do a tunnel, so, in my total fantasy, they could keep the whole border clear.

Easy peasy.

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They say

A US Government Security Agency called EnTech for assistance because a large number of illegal aliens and drugs, using underground tunnels, were infiltrating America through a section of the U.S. - Mexican border. The objective was to identify and locate cross border tunnels.

It’s interesting that both “illegal aliens” and “drugs” are described as having a equal amount of human agency.


Or is it that every market is born unregulated?

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Yet more billions of dollars that could be spent on free health care… or given to wealthy voters as a tax break…

Let’s assume the tech works. Then what?

Problem solved!

Erm. No. The importers will just dig deeper, or use trebuchet’s to fling it over, or drone fleets to fly it over (which would have a delicious irony, given the vigor with which the US has been exporting it’s particular version of nutbaggery via drones recently), or use better submarines, container ships, cars, trucks, planes trains, walkers, the postal service, Amazon, pipelines, ziplines, airlines, etc.

As someone wise once said: you can’t stop a market.

The problem isn’t the tunnels. The “problem” is the market for the stuff that goes through the tunnels.

As with prostitution; legalize it, tax the shit out of it. Like alcohol. Not perfect, but has to be better than prohibition.

They’ll never stop black markets. But the irony is that the biggest thing they could do to cripple the drug cartels they’re not, and apparently won’t, be doing anytime soon, which is to come down hard on the banks that launder drug money. Without that tool the drug trade will break up into smaller, less organized groups because a large cartel just won’t be able to function without a way to launder vast quantities of cash.

This more than anything proves that there is no interest in winning the drug war, only in prosecuting it endlessly for fun, racism and profit.


I think the boder guys are wrong…if both warehouses had dolls and tricycles in them, it’s obviuos they smuggled toys and tricycles…right? :slight_smile:


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You bomb everything and everywhere that might contain any aspect of the tunnel whatsoever.

Conversely, black markets provide a political voodoo doll to stick pins in. Another puppet fear to wave about. They’re actually politically rather useful.

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They didn’t even mention the most worrisome aspect. With the introduction of the minecart with hopper and minecart with chest, the whole operation can be automated with redstone wire.