Brazil frontier protection program sees record amount of seizures

Ten countries share national borders with Brazil in South America

Published in 05/11/2019 - 14:43 By Gilberto Costa - Brasília

Brazil’s Integrated Frontier Protection Program, created in 2016, seized 34 tons of cocaine and 589 guns this year, as per figures surveyed up to the third quarter this year, released by the Federal Revenue Service and the president’s Institutional Security Office (GSI).

In a single operation, the Federal Police on Paraná river is reported to have intercepted the smuggling of 150 thousand cigarettes a day—a volume that could have brought in over $1 billion for criminal organizations from April this year, when the crackdown was launched, up to the end of September.

“We know financial capacity is a key element in crime. We have to remove their financial capacity; we must demonetize criminal organizations,” said Eduardo Bettine, coordinator-general for frontier with the Integrated Operations Secretariat, under the Justice Ministry.

Air Brigadier Ary Soares Mesquita, GIS’s secretary for Defense Affairs and National Security, described the program as a result of “the government’s efforts against crime.” Nine federal agencies took part in 42 anti-crime initiatives both on land borders and at ports and airports across the country.

Brasília - O secretario de Defesa e segurança nacional do gabinete de segurança institucional,Brigadeiro do Ar, Ary Soares Mesquita
Air Brigadier Ary Soares Mesquita, GIS’s secretary for Defense Affairs and National Security – Valter Campanato / Agência Brasil

In addition to the federal government, initiatives mobilized local security forces, governments, and members of society. “We’re going all the way to the far end to see the reality and talk to public security agencies to learn what the main demands are, and also to hear from society what we can do to improve safety,” Mesquita said.

National policy

The government is preparing to launch the so-called National Frontier Policy by mid-2020, combining current policies on public security, defense, intelligence, and local development.

Brazil’s land borders add up to 16.8 thousand km, which separate 11 states from ten neighboring countries. The country’s sea borders are formed by the coasts of 17 states and total 7.3 thousand km. The country has 99 airports (18 of which international) and nearly 2.5 thousand aerodrome. Ports on the coast and rivers amount to 235 ports.

Border crimes include smuggling, drug and gun dealing, trafficking in persons and natural resources, money laundering, and illegal mining.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Graça Adjuto / Nira Foster

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