Military personnel work against illegal mining and support IBAMA in the destruction of dredges
By Agência Marinha de Notícias – Manaus, AM
The Armed Forces, through troops assigned to Operation Ágata Amazônia, supported the agents of the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA) in logistics, intelligence and operations for the destruction of 29 dredges used in illegal mining in the region. In addition, a support structure used by the miners was destroyed.
According to IBAMA’s assessment, the construction of these illegal dredges can cost from 600 thousand to 7 million reais each. Thus, the damage caused to illegal mining during the operation exceeds 49 million reais. Some dredges had structures such as fuel rafts, satellite internet antennas and security camera systems, as well as a large amount of food and drinking water. The damage caused to the illegal activity is even greater if one considers what they would produce. It is estimated that the 29 rafts destroyed would be able to generate a profit of up to R$23.2 million per month for the criminals.
The actions also help to preserve the environment, since illegal mining pollutes the water, contaminates the fauna, and destroys the forest. The clandestine vessels were located after an intelligence survey, in a joint action between the Armed Forces and government agencies.
In actions carried out this last weekend, the Armed Forces and soldiers from the Special Operations Company of the Amazonas State Military Police (COE – PMAM) also seized 7.3 kilos of mercury. The heavy metal was found along with weapons and ammunition, in a nighttime boarding conducted by the Brazilian Navy.
Armed Forces always present in the Amazon
The Ágata Operation – Uiara Joint Command – is coordinated by the Ministry of Defense and executed by the Brazilian Navy, the Brazilian Army and the Brazilian Air Force in cooperation with several agencies, such as the Brazilian Intelligence Agency (ABIN), the Operational and Management Center of the Amazon Protection System (CENSIPAM) the National Foundation of Indigenous Peoples (FUNAI), the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA), the Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio), the Civil Police, the Federal Police, and the Special Indigenous Health Secretariat (SESAI).
Also in the context of the operation, the Armed Forces are carrying out Hospital Care and Civic-Social Actions to assist the riverine and indigenous population of the Western Amazon.