Armed Forces Initiate Operation Ágata 6 Brazilian Ministry of Defense
By Dialogo October 11, 2012
On October 9, the Brazilian Ministry of Defense initiated a new military operation to combat border crimes. A headcount of 7,500 troops – equipped with fighter planes, combat helicopters, patrol boats, and armored vehicles – was deployed to patrol the area of 4,216 kilometers along the borders with Bolivia and Peru. Operation Ágata 6 is coordinated by the Joint Staff of the Armed Forces and should last for two weeks.
According to the Joint Staff, military troops will be present in four states: Mato Grosso do Sul, Mato Grosso, Rondonia, and Acre. The area includes regions from the city of Corumba (Mato Grosso do Sul) to Mancio Lima (Acre). Before initiating the activities, the Brazilian government, through the Ministries of Defense and Foreign Affairs, informed the Bolivian and Peruvian governments about the mobilization in the region. “We also invited the neighboring countries to send observers”, stated Defense Minister Celso Amorim, who advocates more cooperation from South America in matters of defense.
Amorim stated that the sixth edition of Operation Ágata concludes the large-scale border security activities for 2012. “We must execute three new mobilizations in 2013, aiming to bring the presence of the Brazilian State to the border area,” explained the defense minister.
To cover the extensive area, the operation will mobilize a significant military apparatus. In total, they are using about four F-5 fighters, six A-29 aircraft, ten helicopters, two unmanned aerial vehicles , 14 Navy speed boats, 40 Army ships, seven patrol boats, two hospital ships, in addition to tanks and armored vehicles.
Approximately 7,500 troops from the Military commands of Campo Grande and the Amazon, in Manaus, are part of the operation frontline. The logistical apparatus that supports these troops creates jobs for another 10,000 men in areas such as transport, health, and food industries. Parts of the troops are dedicated to performing civic and social activities, supporting underprivileged communities.
Operation Ágata 6 will also be backed by 10 ministries and 20 governmental agencies that will elevate the total personnel count to approximately 8,000 professionals. State and municipal public sectors such as Military and Civil Police, and municipal guards, were also mobilized to take part in the operation.
According to the chief of the Joint Staff, General José Carlos De Nardi, the Military apparatus increases the sense of safety among the population and inhibits illicit activities that may go beyond drugs, weapons and contraband.
For each edition of Operation Ágata, there is an increase in the participating organisms, which contributes to bringing robust results for the operations. In all three editions last year, for instance, the seizures included 20 trucks, 59 motorcycles, 332 kilos of marijuana, 19.5 kilos of cocaine, and eight tons of explosives. In 2012 however, during Operation Ágata 5 alone, 268 inspections were performed in vessels and in 41,301 light vehicles. Approximately 880 kilos of marijuana and cocaine were seized, besides 11,730 kilos of explosives.
According to Major General Ricardo Machado, chief of the Joint Staff Joint Operations, the Military presence along the border shows the criminal organizations that the government is alert to what happens in each region.