Finally, the NYT has given Nogales its due attention. Welcome to my home, where the drug cartels are continually getting more ingenious in transporting drugs. I’ve known now for some time about the narcotunnels built underground but “ramping” is a new one for me. The lead-in to the article describes the technique:
Drug smugglers parked a car transport trailer against the Mexican side of the border one day in December, dropped a ramp over the security fence, and drove two pickup trucks filled with marijuana onto Arizona soil.
The site hosts a video demonstration.
I’m sorry if anyone is offended. I don’t mean to be so tongue-in-cheek about it, especially with the disturbing numbers of shootouts between cartels, police and their families. But you have to admit, the sophistication and creativity of the cartels are impressive. The article also reports,
But these are not the only new tactics: the cartels are also increasingly planting marijuana crops inside the United States in a major strategy shift to avoid the border altogether, officials said. Last year, drug enforcement authorities confiscated record amounts of high potency plants from Miami to San Diego, and even from vineyards leased by cartels in Washington State. Mexican drug traffickers have also moved into hydroponic marijuana production — cannabis grown indoors without soil and nourished with sunlamps — challenging Asian networks and smaller, individual growers here.
Ahh, if only the brains behind these operations applied their smarts to doing good.
The good news is that, despite the article, violence along the border has been down since December. Ever since returning from the holidays in January, I’ve been pleased to see Nogales back to a sort of normal. Whereas a few months ago the streets were empty, with people spending just the amount of time necessary on the street to move between their home and the workplace, now the streets are bumpin’ again with locals, street vendors and of course retiree tourists.