Brazil Donates Helicopters to Bolivia to Counter Drug Trafficking
By Dialogo October 04, 2012
Brazilian Minister of Defense Celso Amorim, arrived in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, (east) on October 3 to take part in a ceremony to hand over two of four helicopters donated to Bolivia to counter drug trafficking, according to a statement by the Brazilian diplomatic delegation sent to AFP.
The ceremony took place in Santa Cruz de la Sierra Air Base (El Trompillo), where Bolivian President Evo Morales and Defense Minister Rubén Saavedra were present.
The Brazilian embassy specified that the transfer of the helicopters was based on “the request submitted by President Morales to President Lula, in a bilateral meeting during the UNASUR Summit, in Costa do Sauípe, in December 2008.”
The request outlined that “the purpose of the helicopter grant is to strengthen cooperation bonds between both countries in the field of defense, with special attention to surveillance of air space and to combat transnational crime and drug trafficking.”
During his stay in Bolivia, Amorim discussed the opening of new areas for bilateral cooperation in defense and “made announcements about the restoration of Bolivian armored vehicles, as well as helicopter pilot training,” indicated the statement.
Bolivia and Brazil have developed several cooperation initiatives concerning countering drug trafficking. Last July, a joint military operation conducted in the region used aircrafts from both countries.