Brazil Seizes 115 Tons Of Drugs During Border Sweep

By Dialogo
December 19, 2011

Brazil has seized more than 115 tons of drugs and detained more than 4,000 traffickers during military sweeps along its borders over the past six months, officials said.

“These were very successful operations, with impressive results,” Vice President Michel Temer told a press conference with Justice Minister Jose Cardozo and Defense Minister Celso Amorim.

Last June, Brazilian troops launched a crackdown on drug and goods trafficking along the borders with Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Paraguay, Uruguay and Peru.

Cardozo said results of the operation, which covered 27 percent of Brazilian territory and 11 border states, “exceeded our expectations.”

In total, 99.5 tons of marijuana, 15.8 tons of cocaine and 534 firearms were seized while 4,200 traffickers were captured.

Authorities also destroyed three clandestine airstrips, intercepted six suspect aircraft and confiscated hundreds of kilograms of explosives, according to official data.

Temer cited as evidence the fact that the crackdown was working because the price of drugs has doubled “due to the difficulties which the traffickers faced due to our presence.”

The vice president said the border operations would continue in 2012.

Authorities said neighboring Bolivia, Peru and Paraguay received advance notice of the sweeps while Brazil launched joint patrols with Colombia.

The government has said the country is considered to be undergoing a “crack epidemic” and launched a $2.2 billion plan focusing on prevention, care and repression.

Brazil, with a population of 191 million, shares borders with Argentina, Bolivia, Guyana, Colombia, Suriname, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela as well as with French Guiana.