Brazil Combats Drug Trafficking on the Border
By Taciana Moury/Diálogo October 20, 2020
The Brazilian government has increased patrol and surveillance on its border to stop the entry of drugs from neighboring countries.
One of these operations took place on September 1, 2020, when the Brazilian Federal Police (PF, in Portuguese) seized 423 kilograms of cocaine inside an aircraft that made a forced landing in the rural region of Cacoal, Rondônia state, near the Bolivian border. According to the Military Police of Rondônia, the aircraft likely departed Bolivia with the drug.
Other seized aircraft
Two more suspicious aircraft were seized in different areas of the Brazilian border. The PF, with the support of the Brazilian Air Force (FAB, in Portuguese), seized more than 1 ton of cocaine on August 2, as part of Operation Ostium.
During the first operation, authorities intercepted an aircraft carrying 487 kg of cocaine northeast of Campo Grande, Mato Grosso do Sul state, on the border with Bolivia.
During the second operation, another aircraft was intercepted southeast of Campo Grande with some 700 kg of cocaine on board. According to the PF, which oversees ground interdiction, the regional partnership with
FAB enabled the identification and interception of aircraft used by drug traffickers, resulting in many seizures.
Aerospace Operations Command (COMAE, in Portuguese) is the unit that oversees the planning and execution of FAB’s operational missions. FAB General Jeferson Domingues de Freitas, COMAE commander, highlighted the success of the early August interception: “We proved that we can handle multiple interceptions, and the result could not be better. We showed that our Brazilian Aerospace Defense System can launch simultaneous air defense operations wherever needed,” the officer told the Air Force Press Office.
Around the clock surveillance
According to information from COMAE, since early 2020, a total of 75 A-29 Super Tucano aircraft have been activated to identify suspicious aircraft in the region. The E-99 radar aircraft was activated 29 times in the same period for air defense missions, as part of Operation Ostium. “The operations resulted in 39 interceptions with six seizures,” COMAE informed Diálogo.
COMAE added that it is possible to activate aircraft from any part of the country. “The response also includes monitoring air traffic to send intelligence or to remotely track suspicious aircraft to collaborate with law enforcement,” it concluded.