Brazil and Peru Create a Group to Intensify Defense Cooperation
By Dialogo December 26, 2012
On December 17, Ministers of Defense from Brazil, Celso Amorim, and Peru, Pedro Cateriano Bellido, announced a new binational work group to study the economic, financial and legal aspects of the purchase and sale of equipment and technological transfer in the area of defense. The announcement was made at the end of the bilateral meeting at the Ministry of Defense head office, in Brasilia.
One of the main topics to be discussed within the scope of work will be the protection of the Amazon, a common interest area, emphasized by representatives of both countries during the meeting. Two weeks ago, during a regular meeting with the South American Defense Counsel (CDS), in Lima, Peru, the UNASUL member countries approved the Brazilian proposition which establishes a South American system of management and monitoring of the special areas, such as indigenous reserve and environmental protection units.
Brazil already has expertise in the matter, which was gained from the work developed by the Management and Operational Center of the Amazon Protection System, a Defense agency. The CDS approved, within the Action Plan for 2013, a group that will study how to create this system, which will provide important support on the mapping and monitoring of isolated areas in geographical regions such as the Amazon, the Andes, and the Chaco.
Celso Amorim referred to the cooperation with neighboring country as “strategy,” emphasizing the fact that the relationship between Brazil and Peru has already generated important regional agreements, including the one that originated the UNASUL. According to the minister, to strengthen the partnership via concrete actions is more important than the commercial aspect.
The Peruvian Minister of Defense also emphasized the importance of integration between the countries. For the Minister, “the strategic alliance with Brazil is a priority” for the current government of his country.
In the meeting, Amorim also mentioned Brazil’s interest in strengthening the cooperation within the defense industry area. As a sample of this cooperation, he mentioned some important initiatives of regional development of the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and a basic trainer airplane, which have been recently approved by the CDS.
The Brazilian minister also emphasized other opportunities for cooperation in the Naval area, such as river patrol vessels, and mentioned the beginning of the production, in Brazil, of a new generation of armored vehicles on wheels, known as Guarani. He also emphasized the work performed jointly with neighboring countries in the Operation Agata, an initiative planned by the Strategic Border Plan “We always alert neighboring countries when the action begins and this is important to be done in cooperation. We do it from here and you do it on your end,” said the Minister.
Pedro Bellido explained that currently the main concern of the Defense Area in Peru is the war against terror in the area known as VRAEM (Valle do Rio Apurímac, Ene and Mantaro). “It is not like it used to be a few decades ago, but it is important to face this situation,” he said.