“Ain’t no mountain high, ain’t no valley low, ain’t no river wide enough to keep me from getting to you, babe.”
The late greats, Marvin Gaye and Tammy Terrell, were talking about love, of course.
But, as someone who spent a formative decade living south of the border, this song comes to mind as irrational blather about Trump’s border wall seeps into the national dialogue, like sewer water.
But not everyone is upset about it.
Drug smugglers say the higher the wall, the higher the fee to get over, under or through it.
Mexicans are resourceful and persistent, in addition to being generally great people. That’s worth remembering as we celebrate Cinco de Mayo, a commemoration of the Mexican Army’s final victory over French forces in the Battle of Puebla in 1862.
Unfortunately, as our neighbor’s economy is in shambles and poverty is rampant, Mexicans still persist in their efforts to get into the U.S., to find work or to bring drugs in.
Trump’s wall may slow them down, but a persistent trafficker interviewed in a New York Times report said, “This is never going to stop, neither the narco trafficking nor the illegals. There will be more tunnels. More holes. If it doesn’t go over, it will go under.”
We already know about going over the current U.S.-Mexico barrier, which is series of short but not continuous walls and fences, monitored by cameras and sensors.
Giant catapults and air cannons have been used to fling weed into the U.S. for some time now.
Easy… the U.S.-Mexico border is riddled with tunnels.
According to the DEA, between 1990 and 2016, a grand total of 224 tunnels were discovered along the nearly 2,000-mile border with Mexico, some with air vents, rails and electric lights.
Last year, authorities in San Diego found a tunnel they called “ingenious” and unlike anything seen before. It was being used to transport an “unprecedented cache” of cocaine and marijuana.
“Drug traffickers love using tunnels,” reported Business Insider earlier this year. “The Mexico-U.S. border is like a block of cheese with holes in it, with tunnels across it.”
Going through? This is where things can get really creative. Fruit shipments, freight train engines, taped to human bodies, food cans, surfboards, etc.
What will change when or if Trump’s wall goes up?
Transport fees will go up and the smugglers will consolidate. Organized criminal networks and cartels will take control, even more so than now.
“As the prices went up, the mafia, which is the Sinaloa cartel, took over everything here, drugs and people smuggling,” said the NY Times’ smuggler.
After the colossal failure of the War on Drugs, we are about to witness yet an equally absurd response in the form or Trump’s wall… if it ever gets built.
Meanwhile, the drug smugglers are loving it and will be laughing all the way to the bank, well maybe not the bank.