Sao Paulo Hosts National and South American Defense Meetings

By Dialogo
August 06, 2012

On Aug. 6, Brazilian Defense Minister Celso Amorim inaugurated the opening conference for the VI National Meeting of the Brazilian Association of Defense Studies and the South American Defense Meeting.

The events are taking place at the Braston Hotel in Sao Paulo from Aug. 6-9, and are centered around the topic of Brazilian Thought on Defense. The program includes conferences, round tables, thematic symposiums, short courses and scientific panels, totaling more than 250 academic presentations.

One of the presentations comes from Major Nixon Frota, master of Defense from the Brazilian Army Command and General Staff School, and specialized in analysis and intelligence and counter intelligence operations. His proposal discusses including the electric sector in security and defense issues in South America, making it the central focus of a pioneer regional security and defense strategy.

According to Maj. Nixon, South America’s economic integration process has great development potential starting from its physical structures, which include the electric sector. Given the current threats and risks, this becomes a strategic structure because its interruption or destruction, whether partial or total, would directly affect the economic, social, political and military sectors, thereby causing an array of losses and negative effects.

An example of the strategic value of the electric sector, not only in South America, but in the world, is the recent blackout in India, one of unprecedented magnitude that reached half of the country of 1.2 billion inhabitants after three distribution networks collapsed, leaving close to 20 northern and north eastern states in the dark.

In 2005, 2007 and 2009, Brazil also experienced significant blackouts, affecting millions of Brazilian citizens. In 2009, due to the unparalleled shutdown of the hydroelectric power plant in Itaipu, 18 Brazilian states were left partially or completely without power, with the southeast region suffering the biggest impact. The states of Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Espirito Santo were completely in the dark.