The Bolivian Government and Brazilian embassy personnel have flown over regions of the border between the two nations in order to evaluate the future installation of radars to detect drug trafficking by air, Bolivia’s Deputy Social Defense Minister Felipe Cáceres said on July 27.
“An overflight was made to identify strategic locations, in order to install radars in the area in the future,” stated Cáceres, the politician with primary responsibility for the fight against drug trafficking, as reported by the Government news agency.
He said that “these maneuvers and these exercises have been conducted in complementary fashion by the Bolivian Air Force and the Brazilian Air Force,” but he did not reveal the date on which the installation of the radars is expected to begin.
The two countries share a border of 3,133 kilometers, chiefly in the Amazon, taken advantage of for drug trafficking by air, land, and river and for smuggling weapons and stolen cars.
In January, Bolivia, Brazil, and the United States signed an agreement to support La Paz’s efforts in the fight against drug trafficking. The two pillars of the agreement among the three countries are monitoring of the approximately 31,000 plots of land planted with coca (according to the UN) and air traffic control.
Brazil also offered a batch of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for the same purpose.
Bolivia produces around 115 tons of cocaine a year, according to the United Nations, the majority of which is sold to Brazil and then to Europe.