TIJUANA, Mexico (AP) — The Mexican army said Friday it had uncovered another drug smuggling tunnel beneath the US-Mexico border, one day after the discovery of two others was announced.
The latest tunnel, still under construction, was 350 meters (380 yards) long and 1.7 meters (5ft 7in) high, linking the border city of Tijuana with San Diego in southern California, they said. Forty tonnes of marijuana was seized.
"Military troops discovered another tunnel under construction to transport drugs," said a defense ministry statement, adding that the tunnel was some 10 meters underground.
The tunnel had a ventilation system, wooden supports and already had part of a system of rails to transport drugs, General Gilberto Landeros told a press conference.
The entrance was found in a storage building some 250 meters from the border, and had not yet come out on the US side.
It had an altar with a picture of the Virgin Mary and another of Jesus Malverde, a saint not recognized by Catholics but venerated by drug traffickers, notably in the northwestern state of Sinaloa.
Almost at the same time, in another warehouse in a rural area east of Tijuana, soldiers seized 40 tonnes of marijuana stored in five trucks.
Three people were arrested, said Landeros, adding that it was not yet known to which drug cartel the tunnel or the drugs belonged.
On Thursday, authorities from the two countries said they had unearthed a 240-yard-long drug tunnel from the Arizona town of San Luis across the border to San Luis Rio Colorado, on the Mexican side.
Separately Thursday the Mexican army found a 150-meter long tunnel from Tijuana to the US side of the border.
Last November two major drug smuggling tunnels were found near the Mexican border with California in Tijuana, one of them 400 yards long and the other 600 yards in length.
Over the past decade at least 86 tunnels have been discovered in Arizona, and 50 in California, officials said.
More than 50,000 people have been killed since 2006, when Mexico launched a major military crackdown against the powerful drug cartels that have terrorized border communities as they have battled over lucrative smuggling routes.