Brazil Launches Military Operation on Borders with Bolivia, Peru, and Paraguay

By Dialogo
November 30, 2011

Around 6,500 Brazilian military personnel supported by planes and ships have launched a large-scale operation against the illegal trafficking of drugs, arms, and merchandise on the borders with Bolivia, Peru, and Paraguay, an official confirmed.

This is “the largest coordinated action involving the Army, Navy, and Air Force against illegal trafficking and organized crime, along a border strip of almost 7,000 km,” a Defense Ministry source indicated to AFP.

“Operation Ágata 3” is part of a strategic plan laid out by President Dilma Rousseff in June to combat the smuggling of drugs, arms, and merchandise in border areas.

The operation is being conducted in the states of Amazonas, Acre, Rondonia, Mato Grosso, and Mato Grosso do Sul. It involves 6,500 personnel, backed by 10 ships and 200 land patrol vehicles, in addition to 57 aircraft, including fighter, transport, and reconnaissance planes.

The governments of Bolivia, Peru, and Paraguay were informed of the actions in advance, according to the Defense official, who specified that three officers from the Bolivian Navy and Air Force will travel to the town of Guajará Mirim, in the border state of Rondonia, to observe the operation.

“The measure is an indication of the interest of that neighboring country in cooperating with the fight against crime on the border strip,” the ministry explained in a note.

Defense Minister Celso Amorim will review the troops on December 5 and 6, accompanied by Vice President Michel Temer, the source indicated.

Rousseff’s administration had already launched border-control operations in recent months at the border crossings with Peru and Paraguay.