Radioactive Material Detectors Tested on Brazilian Borders
By Dialogo October 26, 2012
During the last two weeks, the Brazilian Armed Forces carried out an operation on the borders with Peru and Bolivia to test new radioactive material detectors, in addition to the brand new unmanned air vehicles, the Ministry of Defense reported on October 24.
Early this week, Operation Ágata 6 came to an end after seizing 3.7 tons of drugs, as well as 67 vehicles and 201 ships, said the Ministry in a statement.
The Chemical, Biological, and Nuclear Defense Platoon participated in the operation that patrolled the rivers of Pantanal, a huge biodiversity rich marshland in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul (center-west), Brazil.
“The goal was to test new radioactive material detection equipment in vessels operating in the region,” informed the Ministry.
“The control of this kind of crime is essential to public safety and nature. In case of contamination, biodiversity can cause damage and infect people,” stated Lieutenant Mauricio Ribeiro de Paiva Júnior.
The Military personnel informed that a harmful substance was detected.
During the operation, the brand new unmanned air vehicles were also used for the first time, the Ministry told AFP. Both unmanned air vehicles, manufactured in Israel, will be used for surveillance activities on Brazilian borders.
Operation Ágata is part of the strategic plan launched by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff in June 2011. It aims at the periodic mobilization of border Military contingents supported by armored vehicles, planes and boats, in order to bust traffickers.
About 17,000 Military members participated in Operation Ágata 5 on the border area of Bolivia, Paraguay, Argentina and Uruguay, an area that encompasses 10,107 kilometers. The operation came to an end in August. In 15 days, the troops detained 31 people and seized six tons of drugs, according to the Ministry of Defense.
Brazil shares a border of about 25,750 kilometers, of which about 14,500 kilometers are basin territories with Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Surinam, Uruguay, Venezuela, and French Guiana.