Brazil Makes Record Drug Seizure
By Taciana Moury/Diálogo August 10, 2021
The Brazilian Military Highway Police (PMR, in Portuguese) carried out the largest drug seizure in the country’s history, intercepting 36.5 tons of marijuana in the city of Deodápolis, Mato Grosso do Sul (MS), a state in midwestern Brazil that borders Paraguay and Bolivia. The operation, coordinated by the Secretariat of Integrated Operations (SEOPI, in Portuguese), took place on July 10, 2021, during a routine inspection on state highway MS-276.
According to information from the government of MS, the drug was hidden in a load of soy. The operation generated a loss of nearly $11 million for organized crime.
The governor of MS, Reinaldo Azambuja, praised the inspection work carried out at the state border. “Once again, our police acted effectively and ostentatiously. I want to congratulate all police officers for their firm and determined action on our borders,” the governor said in a report published on the state government’s official website.
From January 1 to July 11, 2021, MS withdrew 419.4 tons of drugs from circulation. “[There was] a 30 percent increase compared to the same period last year , when 321.4 tons of narcotics went out of circulation,” the governor said.
According to the report, state security forces recorded a 21 percent increase in drug seizures in the first half of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020. From January to June 2021, a total of 365.7 tons of drugs were seized, most of which (359 tons) was marijuana. In 2020, a total of 301 tons of narcotics stopped circulating in the same period.
The minister of Justice and Public Security, Anderson Torres, celebrated the largest drug seizure in the country’s history and praised SEOPI’s coordinated operation. “There is no doubt that integrated work among the police is the best way to fight organized crime,” the minister said on the Ministry of Justice and Public Security’s (MJSP, in Portuguese) website.
According to MJSP information, measures implemented by the VIGIA national border security program resulted in a 111 percent increase in drug seizures across the country’s border, when comparing the June 2020-June 2021 period to the previous one. There were 673 tons of drugs seized, the main one being marijuana