Brazil currently has 55 defense attachés. To strengthen its relationship with the nations in which these service members are advisors, as part of the diplomatic corps, the Brazilian Ministry of Defense (MD, in Portuguese) held the Symposium Update for Partner Nations Defense Attachés.
“Attachés play a fundamental role in pursuing opportunities for the development of new military capabilities, in the feasibility of combined exercises and the commercial promotion of defense products, among many others,” said Major General Himario Brandão Trinas, MD deputy head of International Affairs.
The symposium took place in Brasília, August 17-18, 2021, with 48 participating representatives, including attachés and military deputies from countries such as Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. Participants attended lectures on the relationship of foreign defense attachés with the MD and on the National Defense Strategy, a document that guides Brazil’s actions in the military field. They also attended a presentation on the national defense industry and watched a simulation on how to contain demonstrations, performed by the Army Police Battalion.
The event is part of a series of activities organized by the MD involving military attachés. The activities include lectures and visits to places of interest, “allowing the attachés to see, on-site, the work carried out by the [Brazilian] Armed Forces, as well as learning about Brazilian Defense Industrial Base companies,” said Maj. Gen. Trinas. According to the officer, attachés are scheduled to visit military units in the south, southeast, and Amazon regions in 2021.
These initiatives are important to keep the attachés up to date, receiving direct information from the MD, “so the assessments made by their respective countries reflect, in a reliable way, Brazil’s actions and results,” said Maj. Gen. Trinas.
As such, some strategic topics where selected, such as the participation of the Armed Forces in the preservation of the Amazon and their support for humanitarian actions. They were both the focus of the 2021 Partner Nations First Defense Attaché Meeting, held on July 27.
Participants learned the results of Operation Green Brazil II, which was carried out between May 2020 and April 2021, with 2,490 service members deployed to border areas, indigenous lands, and environmental conservation units daily within the Legal Amazon. In the 11-month period, the operation seized more than 506,000 cubic meters of timber and more than 123,000 firearms and ammunition. Through this operation nearly 17,000 fires were put out and 335 arrest warrants and fines that exceeded $587 million were issued.
Participants also learned about the main tasks of the Amazon Protection System’s Operations and Management Center, an institution that proposes, monitors, and executes the guidelines and actions of the Amazon Protection System. They also learned the results of Operation Shelter, which receives and helps stabilize the lives of Venezuelan citizens who cross the border due to the crisis in their country. Between April 2018 and June 2021, the Brazilian Ministry of Defense, in partnership with other institutions, collaborated on the relocation of 54,430 Venezuelans to 708 Brazilian municipalities.