In early May, the Brazilian federal government launched Operation Green Brazil 2, carrying out preventive and repressive actions to combat crimes against the environment, such as illegal deforestation and wildfires in the Amazon. The 5 million-square-kilometer area represents 59 percent of all the national territory and includes nine states: Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, Mato Grosso, Pará, Rondônia, Roraima, Tocantins, and a part of Maranhão.
The operations to protect and preserve this region, which has the largest tropical forest in the world, are conducted along the border strip, on Indigenous lands, in federal environmental conservation units, and other federal areas. The initial budget is about $12 million. To date, the total resources deployed consist of 3,800 service members, over 140 vehicles, including ships, vehicles, and aircraft from the three forces, as well as members of 400 federal agencies and institutions.
Balance of the operation
By June 9, Green Brazil 2 operations resulted in 1,907 naval inspections, 4,146 vehicle inspections, 235 fines issued for roughly $20 million, the arrest of 104 people, and the seizure of 105 ships, 108 vehicles, 123 kilograms of marijuana, 218 kg of cocaine base paste, and 13,994 cubic meters of lumber.
“The fines are significant, the numbers are consolidated daily, and the result is the success of the integrated work of various people and the ability to show the world that Brazil and its people take care of the Amazon,” said Brazilian Marine Corps Major General Carlos Chagas Vianna Braga, spokesperson for the Ministry of Defense.
The first Operation Green Brazil took place between August and October 2019, with 10,000 people deployed, including service members and members of municipal, state, and federal agencies. The results included 1,835 wildfires put out, 178 ships seized, and 127 people arrested. In total, authorities issued 352 fines, resulting in over $27.5 million collected. In addition, service members destroyed 45 illegal camps and seized excavators, chainsaws, pumps, and over 26,000 liters of fuel. They also searched 1,453 vehicles and 1,961 ships.
“We started earlier this year, precisely to act on deforestation and ahead of possible wildfires. We are certain that Operation Green Brazil 2 will be bigger than its predecessor,” said Maj. Gen. Carlos Chagas, emphasizing that the current focus of operations is on the environmental crime of deforestation.
This time around, service members involved in Operation Green Brazil 2 are also taking measures such as disinfecting hospitals and schools and carrying out social activities to avoid the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“The operations happen while Armed Forces work on Operation COVID-19, with more than 30,000 service members deployed. This is a great effort for the Ministry of Defense, always together with government agencies, to reach significant success,” said Maj. Gen. Carlos Chagas. The Operation Green Brazil 2 was extended until July 15.