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Laredo, Texas

World Trade Bridge

The biggest drug trafficking passage between Mexico and the U.S. 

Almost 5 million trucks cross the World Trade Bridge between Nuevo Laredo, Mexico and Laredo, Texas every year. Thousands of those trucks are loaded to the brim with drugs headed into the United States, and thousands get through border security, making the bridge the biggest point of crossing for smugglers bringing drugs from Mexico into the U.S.

Due to the North American Free Trade Agreement, traffic is constant on the bridge, making inspection of every vehicle impossible. Fully understanding the capacity of the U.S. government, traffickers have long used the bridge to bring in truck-loads of drugs often planted inside innocuous cargo. In 2010 alone, 192,000 pounds of marijuana were seized at the border before crossing into Laredo. Considering that only one in five trucks are inspected, that amount is staggering.

Although drug-sniffing dogs and x-ray machines have been added to help keep drugs from crossing into Texas, the steady flow of cargo has made the task almost too daunting to take on. With drug trade as steady as ever, and Mexican drug rivalries at a peak in their violence, the border remains a remarkably dangerous, albeit semi-sanctioned point of entry for narcotics.