Colombia and Brazil Hold Joint Exercises against Drug Trafficking

By Dialogo
July 09, 2009

Bogotá, July 6 (EFE).- Today the Colombian and Brazilian air forces began simulation exercises to intercept aircrafts used for drug trafficking in towns located along their common border, official sources announced. The joint exercise “Colbra III” will take place through July 10 in the border cities of Leticia (Colombia) and San Gabriel de Cachoeira (Brazil). According to a statement issued by the Colombian presidency, this exercise is “a continuation of the program of exercises planned since 2005.” These simulations include interdiction operations against planes and other small aircraft used by drug gangs to transport narcotics, especially cocaine. Colombia and Brazil share a 1,644-kilometer-long border in the Amazonia, which is a poorly-accessible region taken advantage of by organizations dedicated to drug, chemical and weapons trafficking. This exercise follows a similar activity that took place on July 4 with Peru, named “Percol II.” The Colombian-Brazilian exercises were announced at the end of April and, according to the Colombian Air Force (FAC), are aimed at closing down this route for drug-trafficking flights. In March Colombia and Brazil agreed to strengthen patrol activities of their shared frontier by monitoring border airspace from their respective territories. The Colombian Minister of Defense at that time, Juan Manuel Santos, specified that radar installations and satellites would be part of the development of this initiative.