There are bad ideas, and there are “International Drug War” bad ideas. Mexican drug smugglers (creative, but not geniuses by any stretch) created the makeshift ramp you see here. It was used to scale the 14 ft wall on the Mexico-Arizona border. Failure to think the entire plan through left the Jeep Cherokee perched on the top of the fence when it either got stuck, or when the smugglers saw approaching U.S. Border Patrol. When we speak of “breakover angle” in off-roading, this is what we mean.
The brilliant plan could have proceeded smoothly were it not for clearance issues at the top of the fence. The fence itself is a floating wall that the border patrol moves with the shifting sand dunes of Imperial, California. Officials believe scaling it is the only way to cross this stretch of border.
Drug smuggling is not a particularly smart endeavor, from a statistical standpoint. Police in Arizona and California are well aware of the network of tunnels that go under various sections of the wall and have increased efforts to close all egress points on the U.S. side of the border. But, as the saying goes “when God closes a window he opens a door” the smugglers accepted the challenge to find another solution.
Dollar for dollar, the U.S. Government has the Mexican drug smugglers beat when it comes to harebrained schemes. According to the Congressional Search Service, the border fence has cost the Department of Homeland Security a whopping $21 million per mile in some areas. The projected total cost is an estimated $22.4 billion which does not include acquiring land (no shortage of scandal there), maintenance, or further improvements.
The failed Jeep scaling only adds further insult to injury. Next time, might want to take some measurements before you scale a massive fence in a Jeep.
Photo Credit: Associated Press