Brazilian States Conduct Internal Border Operation to Combat Organized Crime
By Andréa Barretto/Diálogo January 08, 2021
In late October 2020, in addition to ongoing surveillance activities along Brazilian borders with 10 neighboring countries, Brazilian military and security forces turned their focus inward to internal boundaries among Brazilian states, regions that are known routes for organized crime to transport drugs, weapons, and other illegal merchandise that enter and leave the country.
During the third edition of Operation Integrated Borders, October 24 to November 2, four Brazilian states (São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Paraná) combined their teams and security institutions, launching their operations simultaneously. Some 20,000 police officers, highway patrol and Internal Revenue Service agents, firefighters, and service members carried out search and seizure warrants, in addition to patrolling the roads that cross these locations.
Roadblocks were set up to stop and inspect vehicles. As a result, more than 4.5 tons of drugs were seized in Mato Grosso do Sul alone — a state that shares a border with Bolivia and Paraguay. The amount seized in all four states exceeded 7 tons. The operation seized a total of 114 illegal weapons and recovered 54 stolen vehicles.
Police officers served arrest warrants to individuals wanted for crimes. Some of them had been previously sentenced and others had warrants for their temporary arrests. The warrants served and detentions conducted on the scene of a crime resulted in the arrests of 1,427 individuals in the four states.
The results of Operation Integrated Borders were positive and there are plans for future joint missions between security and military forces of each state. “This is a dream, a job that represents the greatest asset for the population: their safety. We will continue with these operations, because where there is integration, crime decreases. Integration is the action of this command,” said São Paulo’s Public Security Secretary João Camilo Pires de Campos.