Special Military Group Increases Measures Against Narcotrafficking at the Brazil-Bolivia Border
By Nelza Oliveira/Diálogo October 06, 2020
Between January and July 2020, the Special Border Group (GEFRON, in Portuguese), a specialized troop of the Brazilian Military Police from Mato Grosso state, tasked with securing a more than 900-kilometer border between Brazil and Bolivia, seized 6.8 tons of drugs, nearly twice the 3.6 tons seized during the same period in 2019.
GEFRON was created in 2002 to strengthen security operations along the state borders and to reduce illegal activities in the region. Drug trafficking, contraband, car theft, and burglary are some of the main crimes that GEFRON fights through prevention and repression operations.
“This year , GEFRON has significantly increased its productivity compared to 2019, representing a lot of progress, particularly in relation to a 50 percent increase in the number of vehicles recovered that were on their way to Bolivia. As far as drug seizures are concerned, we have seized over 6.5 tons of marijuana, and cocaine and its by-products, which is an increase of more than 87 percent compared to 2019,” said Lieutenant Colonel Fábio Ricas, GEFRON commander.
According to the officer, another key factor in the success of the operations was the inclusion of Mato Grosso state in Operation Horus, which the Brazilian Ministry of Justice and Interior carry out to fight organized crime, corruption, and violent crime along the country’s border. This inclusion allows for more financial resources, an increase in personnel, intelligence sharing and training, and greater operational success.