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on the border line between the US and Mexico

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Mexico and the U.S. will try body scans at the border

Chivis Martinez Borderland Beat from Reforma

The Government of the United States, in collaboration with Mexican authorities, will begin a pilot program to scan pedestrians crossing the border between both countries, in search of all types of contraband.
The Department of State informed interested suppliers on October 10 that it plans to purchase 14 "compact detection units" that will be installed in designated lanes at three border crossing points between Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, and El Paso, Texas.

There will be two types of devices: one to detect contraband hid under clothing and another for objects or substances within the body of people, which currently can only be confirmed by X-rays in a hospital.

The Thru Vision TS4-C detects hidden items in clothes with high definition images up to a distance of 8 meters and transmits real-time information to customs monitoring centers of the SAT and the United States Customs and Border Protection Service (CBP, by its acronym in English).

"The system should have the capacity for an effective flow of information of up to one hundred people per hour, to manage a high traffic environment," explains the State Department document.

For the scanning of the bodies, the RadPRO Secure Pass or equivalent was requested, which is  similar to those that are installed in airports to detect metals, but which can perceive narcotics, liquids, explosives and even hidden weapons in the body, without revealing anatomical details.

This will avoid having to take suspects to laboratories or hospitals for X-rays, which is time-consuming and costly.

The Secure Pass, whose cost can exceed 200 thousand dollars per unit, emits a minimum radiation dose, much lower than that of X-rays.

"The Government will evaluate the utility and reliability of this new technology in an operational environment, to determine if it is the solution." the State Department said in its request.

The document published in the US government procurement portal does not detail the crossings where the equipment would be installed, but four of the five border bridges in the Ciudad Juárez area have at least one pedestrian lane.

The waiting times to cross on foot on bridges such as Paso del Norte can exceed half an hour, and the idea is not to generate delays, since the TS4-C does not stop the transit, while only suspicious persons would be separated from the line


  1. Saw a commenter here that goes by E43 mention this a bit back. Nice.


  2. Tijuana border would be a lot more effective


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