Colombian and Brazilian Defense Ministers Review Border Cooperation

By Dialogo
June 27, 2011

Brazilian Defense Minister Nelson Jobim arrived in Bogotá on 24 June to review with his Colombian counterpart, Rodrigo Rivera, security cooperation along the two countries’ common border in the Amazon, threatened by coca and poppy cultivation and by illegal mining.

Jobim met with Rivera to evaluate a border agreement that seeks to guarantee the sustainability of that jungle region.

He will then travel to Medellín (400 km northwest of Bogotá), where he will meet with President Juan Manuel Santos and accompany him at the ceremony promulgating a citizen-security law.

“We’re going to take care of the Amazon basin, us and only us. We want the border not to be an instrument of protection for criminals, but rather an instrument for neighboring countries in combatting situations of that kind,” said Jobim, who as his first activity laid a wreath at the Monument to the Fallen Soldier.

“This is important because we’re beginning a plan to protect the entire 16,800-km Brazilian border. The policy we have to develop in South America is one of cooperation among all our countries so that the subcontinent has a deterrent strategy,” Jobim added.

Brazil and Colombia share a 1,645-km border, where “all the threats of international crime” intermingle, according to the Colombian minister.

“The Amazon is at risk, not only because of the cultivation of coca and poppies. There is also systematic depredation of the flora and fauna by illegal mining, and it’s an area of migrant trafficking,” Rivera said.

“We want to have a binational border security plan that can ensure a kind of border fortification,” he added.

Since last year, the Colombian and Brazilian militaries, together with that of Peru, have been carrying out joint operations along their common Amazon border, as part of their security cooperation agreements in that area.

It seems the idea of cooperation is great, but even better would be an independent force composed of the three countries, and with alternate command every three years, that permeates the penetration of forces in the areas inspected, mischaracterizing any interpretation that is a territorial violation unattended. I dare to suggest the name: yellow force