Four thousand Brazilian military agents have been mobilized
Brazil and Paraguay decided to join forces against cross-border organized crime. For the first time, security forces in the two countries have conducted the coordinated launches of Brazil’s operation Ágata and Paraguay’s Basalto.
The joint action comes in the same week in which representatives of seven member countries of the Forum for the Progress and Integration of South America (Prosur) approved a declaration restating their commitment to stimulate regional initiatives to tackle transnational crime, at the initiative of Paraguay.
At the opening of the Prosur’s 7th meeting of heads of state and high authorities, held in the Paraguayan city of Luque last Thursday (Jul 21), President Mário Abdo Benítez talked about the role of the initiative.
In Paraguay and in several other countries, he argued, organized crime has become entangled with a number of institutions and activities. “From politics to Congress, [through] business sectors. Regretfully, organized crime is [the activity] that has most efficiently become globalized. Efforts against it must be conducted in solidarity and cooperation. We are firmly committed to eradicating the wrongdoing contaminating and demoralizing public administration,” he added.
About four thousand Brazilian military agents, in addition to officials from other federal, state, and municipal bodies have been mobilized in Brazil since July 18. Operation Ágata Conjunta Oeste 2022 is said to target smuggling, drug trafficking, illegal mining, and environmental crimes, chiefly in the Brazilian states of Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul.
On the Paraguayan side of the border, operation Basalto is spearheaded by the Internal Defense Operations Command, a military body that brings together personnel from the Paraguayan Army, Navy, and Air Force, usually in support for initiatives under the country’s National Anti-Drug Secretariat.
The Paraguayan plan also engages officials from the Ministry of the Interior, the National Police, and the Inter-Institutional Anti-Smuggling Unit.
Translation: Fabrício Ferreira – Agência Brasil