Brazil to Deploy 4,200 Soldiers on Borders with Bolivia y Paraguay.
RIO DE JANEIRO – Brazil on Wednesday launched a huge anti-crime operation involving 4,200 troops along its 4,045 kilometers (2,500 miles) of border with Bolivia and Paraguay, authorities said.
This is the ninth staging of Operation Audit, an annual cross-border anti-crime effort that last year, as a security measure prior to the World Cup tourney in Brazil, was mounted along the South American giant’s entire 16,886 km (10,470 mi.) of land borders.
This year, the monitoring and auditing operations will be undertaken in only 166 communities in the states of Parana, Mato Gross do Sul, Mato Gross and Rondonia, which are adjacent to the borders with Bolivia and Paraguay, the Defense Ministry said in a communique.
The operation will be directed from the army’s Western Military Command center in the city of Campo Grande and will focus on the city of Foz do Iguaçu, among other places, on the triple border with Argentina and Paraguay, one of the main gateways for smuggling into Brazil.
“The neighboring countries were informed of the military action and sent observers to the capital of Mato Grosso (Campo Grande),” the army said in its statement.
Besides the 4,200 army, navy and air force troops under the command of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the operation will also mobilize some 4,200 prosecutors and officials from 46 different public entities such as Customs, the regional police, the Federal Tax Administration and assorted regulatory agencies.
The aim of the operation, the Defense Ministry said, “is to intensify the presence of the Brazilian state on the borders and contribute to fighting and reducing cross-border crimes such as smuggling, drug trafficking, the trafficking of people, weapons and ammunition, ... tax evasion, ... vehicle theft and illegal mining,” among others.
During Operation Audit in past years, authorities have seized a total of about 104 tons of drugs, 22 tons of explosives and 229 weapons.