Brazil To Buy River Boats from Colombia To Strengthen Regional Defense

By Dialogo
May 04, 2012

Brazil will buy four river boats from Colombia in 2012, Brazilian Defense Minister Celso Amorim announced in Bogotá on May 2, in an initiative considered an important step toward achieving a regional defense alliance.

“I want to confirm Brazil’s decision in relation to the acquisition of Colombian river boats by the Brazilian Army and Navy, probably four by the end of the year, with a view toward some more in the future,” Amorim said at a joint press conference with his Colombian counterpart, Juan Carlos Pinzón.

In Pinzón’s words, the sale of the boats constitutes “a political signal of defense and security integration.”

Amorim arrived in Bogotá on his way to the Caribbean beach resort of Cartagena (1,090 km north of Bogotá) to attend a meeting of defense, interior, and foreign ministers from the Union of South American Nations (Unasur) from May 3 to 4.

He explained that this purchase fits within the aim of acquiring within the region the war matériel that each country can offer.

“It’s not a chance purchase; it’s a practical demonstration of something that we’re saying. What we want to build is a South American defense industrial base.

Each country will participate with its possibilities (…); why look in another country … if we can make an acquisition here?” he asked.

He indicated that “the important thing is to have that vision, that what we might be able to acquire in the region is important for us, and not only for economic, commercial reasons. It’s also a long-term strategic vision,” he specified.

Neither minister provided details about the purchase of the boats.

Amorim also announced that Brazil is interested in building an Amazon patrol vessel with Colombia, a project that is expected to come to fruition in December 2014.