In early November 2023, the Brazilian government launched a Decree to Guarantee Law and Order (GLO), to reinforce actions to combat organized crime. The plan includes the strengthening and joining of the Federal, Highway, and Criminal Police; and the Armed Forces (Army, Air Force, and Navy), to expand operations at Brazilian ports, airports, and borders. The new measures will be in place until May 2024.
“We decided to take a decision and have the federal government participate actively, with all the potential it has, so that we can help state governments and help Brazil itself get rid of organized crime, gangs, drug trafficking, and arms trafficking,” President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said at the launch.
The places where the measures have been implemented are the ports of Rio de Janeiro and Itaguaí, in the state of Rio de Janeiro; the Port of Santos, the largest in Latin America, in the state of São Paulo; and the international airports Tom Jobim, in Rio de Janeiro, and Guarulhos, in the state of São Paulo.
“The initial idea is for the Air Force to act, above all, in vulnerable areas at the moment, where luggage is being transported, reinforcing the inspections already carried out by the Federal Revenue Service, the Federal Police, and the airlines themselves,” Minister of Justice and Public Security Flávio Dino told the press. “The Brazilian Navy will assist in the inspection of cargo on ships, which demonstrates the importance of this modality for criminal organizations’ activities. The Army will act on the border. Everyone’s actions will be progressive and without affecting the Federal Police and the Federal Revenue Service as they continue to do their work.”
The Brazilian Navy’s (MB) actions on the coast of São Paulo were reinforced by the Gurupi Patrol Ship, which arrived at the Port of Santos on November 14 to support patrols and inspections of vessels in the region. During the first seven days, MB carried out 505 approaches to vessels with six seizures for administrative irregularities, 4,368 vehicle inspections, 61 interagency actions, and 11 inspections of ship hulls.
The Brazilian Army and Air Force (FAB) are stepping up their actions along Brazil’s border with other countries, especially in the states of Mato Grosso, Paraná, and Mato Grosso do Sul. The latter two border Paraguay, where large-caliber weapons and drugs enter. In the first 15 days of the operation, the FAB searched 358 people and 51 vehicles. Patrols totaled 230 hours.
The measures are also aimed at dealing a blow to the finances of criminal organizations. The Federal Police will expand its intelligence activities and operations to arrest and seize assets belonging to gangs and militias, especially in Rio de Janeiro. The Ministry of Justice and Public Security, together with the State Government of Rio de Janeiro, have set up an Integrated Financial Investigation and Asset Recovery Committee to weaken the financial power of gangs by supporting investigations into financial crimes and money laundering. A similar measure will be implemented in São Paulo.
In total, the Brazilian Armed Forces deployed 3,700 service members: 2,000 from the Army, 1,100 from the Navy, and 600 from the Air Force.