The Results of Operation Ágata 7
By Dialogo June 13, 2013
The results of Operation Ágata 7 were presented on June 6, during a meeting with the Chief of Joint Staff of the Brazilian Armed Forces (EMCFA), General José Carlos De Nardi, at the Ministry of Defense headquarters, in Brasília. Senior officers and representatives from ministries and government agencies were present. The area commanders transmitted the information from the regions via videoconference.
After 19 days, Operation Ágata 7 resulted in a total seizure of 25.342 tons of marijuana and 1,448 pounds of cocaine, crack, and hashish. These numbers are considered a historical record by the EMCFA, an agency of the Ministry of Defense that coordinates the initiative.
During the operation, military troops, along with support from federal, state, and local governments, and civilian agencies, seized approximately 159 cubic feet worth of wood. The Brazilian Armed Forces used approximately 33,000 military members in the action, supported by 1,100 government agency employees.
In the final hours of the operation, the Brazilian Army – in charge of supervising the controlled products – seized 4.9 tons of explosives at a company’s facility in the state of Paraná. In the southern region, the police also apprehended four 762 rifles.
The western region of the country – under the Brazilian West Military Command– seized a total of 8.7 tons of marijuana, as well as 599 pounds of cocaine, and dismantling drug gangs.
The largest volume of narcotics apprehended was found at the southern border of the country. Over the almost three weeks of Operation Ágata, the Military troops and the Brazilian Federal Police seized 16.551 tons of marijuana and 842 pounds of cocaine. The expectation is that the Federal Police will still be able to apprehend more narcotics, since trafficking gangs have been repressed due to Ágata 7.
The Brazilian Armed Forces and Federal Police relied on support by Military troops from Peru and Colombia along the 6,835 miles of northern border. They monitored the trade of fuel at the Triple Border, leading to the control of the gasoline market, which is the main ingredient used to refine cocaine. Without the possibility of transforming the drug into cocaine paste, the gangs would not have been able to produce 30 tons of cocaine, moved straight to markets in south and southeast Brazil, United States, and Europe. In Peru, coca crops represent an area 30,000 hectares wide, and the producers harvest three crops per year.
“After this operation, between May 28 and June 5, they lost one crop. Therefore, they did not refine one third of the 100 tons of cocaine that they normally produce per year,” estimated police delegate Sérgio Lúcio dos Santos Fontes, superintendent of the Amazon Federal Police.
Operation Ágata 7 also intensified the inspections of airfields, vessels, and vehicles within the 10,492 miles of border. With the support of regulatory agencies, 17,587 vessels and 267,590 vehicles were inspected, along with 17,165 pedestrians.
During Operation Ágata, the Armed Forces performed even more social-civic actions at underprivileged cities along the border. With the support of ships and tents, the population relied on medical, dental, and hospital services; in addition, they received identification documentation and attended training classes. The Soldiers also helped in the reconstruction of schools and roads that heavy rains destroyed in the region.
At the end of the operation assessment meeting, General De Nardi emphasized the importance of the Armed Forces interoperability for the results. “On behalf of Defense Minister Celso Amorim, I want to thank you for your participation, dedication, and the opportunity provided. We were highly successful in the border operation, building one of the pivots for the major events,” said the general.