Operation Ágata West Border II
Foz do Iguaçu / Guaíra (PR) – Since last Wednesday, the 5th Army Division has reinforced the personnel of the 15th Mechanized Infantry Brigade working in Operation Ágata Fronteira Oeste II. The number of troops deployed has risen from 400 to 500, an increase of 25%.
The commander of the 5th Army Division, Lieutenant General José Ricardo Vendramin Nunes, explained the importance of the operation. “We’re going to have a permanent presence here on the border, with a very significant number of troops and interoperability with the public security agencies, which is one of our objectives.”
On January 29, a meeting was held to coordinate the operations, involving authorities from the Brazilian Army and the Chief of Staff of the 3rd Infantry Division of Paraguay. The Operation’s activities are carried out through the integration of various federal, state and municipal public security agencies and also in partnership with the Paraguayan Army.
Operation Ágata Fronteira Oeste II has been underway since November, on the border strip of the states of Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul and Paraná, to curb cross-border crimes such as drug trafficking, arms trafficking and smuggling. So far, more than R$115 million in drugs, smuggled cigarettes, vehicles and goods have been seized. Among the material seized are 16 tons of marijuana, one ton of cocaine paste and 600 kg of cocaine.
The operation mobilizes troops from the 5th Armored Cavalry Brigade and the 14th Motorized Infantry Brigade.
In Foz do Iguaçu, the International Friendship Bridge, which connects Brazil to Paraguay, is the busiest border crossing in the country, with traffic of around 40,000 vehicles every day. When searching vehicles, the military uses war dogs to sniff out toxins and explosives.
Medical student Lázaro José Nunes Mendes passes through customs every day to study in Ciudad del Este and believes that any reinforcement of border security is welcome. According to him, “the more security, the better!”
In Guaíra, the Ayrton Senna Bridge connects the state of Paraná with Mato Grosso do Sul, and to the west is the city of Salto del Guairá, in Paraguay. During Operation Western Border II, the Army sets up checkpoints and roadblocks to search vehicles. On the Paraná River and Itaipu Lake, monitoring is reinforced with the use of speedboats, radars and drones.
Administrator Jorge Augusto Basso says he feels safer seeing the Brazilian Army at work on the Friendship Bridge. “We come from far away and we hear that sometimes there are problems at the border. So, as a Brazilian, I feel safer,” he says.
*** Translated by DEFCONPress FYI Team ***