Drug trafficking and illegal mining damage more than $400 million during military operation in the AmazonDrug trafficking and illegal mining damage more than $400 million during military operation in the Amazon

The Armed Forces worked together with government agencies against illegal activities

After two months of planning and information gathering, the military personnel of the three Armed Forces, assigned to the Ágata Amazônia Operation, succeeded, in only 15 days of effective actions, in causing a millionaire damage to the illicit activities in the Amazon. In all, more than R$ 80 million in drugs were seized, 51 illegal mining dredges were neutralized, valued at R$ 84.6 million, and more than R$ 280 million in lost profits to illegal activities. The preservation and natural recovery of the forest and rivers appear as another gain of the operation, which ends today (02).

The Armed Forces reached the mark of 1.6 tons of narcotics (base paste, cocaine and skunk type marijuana) seized in a joint effort with the Federal Police, during the operation. The actions of the Forces, which intensified the presence of the Brazilian State on the border strip and in the interior of the Amazon, also weakened illegal mining, with the neutralization of 51 dredges, by the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama). In total, eight people were arrested and handed over to the police authorities.

As a result of the operation, it was verified, through the intelligence activity, the reduction of illegal practices throughout the region. The criminals determined that the dredges stopped producing and were hidden in recesses of the smaller rivers. At the beginning of the action of the Armed Forces, the cities neighboring the places occupied by the troops had an increase in the demand for lodging, in order to house the people employed in the illegal dredges. The reduction and interruption of illegal mining activities during the operation meant that approximately 532.5 hectares of forest ceased to be cut down and 177.5 kg of mercury stopped polluting the rivers.

At the end of the actions, illegal mining lost strength and illicit agents migrated to other regions, due to the difficulty of carrying out illegal activities. Satellite images taken two weeks apart show the change in the color of the waters of the Puruê River, due to the interruption of illegal mining.

Satellite images show how the color of the river has returned to normal (dark) after the interruption of dredging activities during Operation Agate Amazon

For this operation, more than 1,300 military personnel from the Armed Forces were employed, in addition to six ships, nine vessels and ten aircraft, in cooperation with 42 agents from nine different institutions, in the actions to combat trans-border and environmental crimes in the Western Amazon.

The Armed Forces are permanently present and active throughout the Amazon. However, this operation gains relevance by uniting the efforts of several agencies, sharing the knowledge produced and expanding the unique capabilities of each institution. Thus, the Armed Forces, Brazilian Intelligence Agency (ABIN), Operational and Management Center of the Amazon Protection System (CENSIPAM), National Foundation of Indigenous Peoples (FUNAI), Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama) Chico Mendes Institute for Biodiversity Conservation (ICMBio), Federal Police, Civil Police, Military Police (COE), and the Special Secretariat for Indigenous Health (SESAI), were able to exchange experiences and add competencies, increasing the final gain and leaving a contribution that goes beyond the operation itself.

Social and Hospital Assistance Actions were also carried out throughout the operation. More than 1,500 consultations benefited indigenous and riverside communities, with medical assistance in various specialties and dental care. There were also workshops on oral hygiene, distribution of kits, recreational and patriotic activities for children, and donations of clothes and food baskets.

The objective of the Ágata Operation – Uiara Joint Command – was to combat trans-border and environmental crimes, as well as to intensify the presence of the Brazilian State in the borderland strip. It is coordinated by the Ministry of Defense and executed by the Brazilian Navy, Brazilian Army and Brazilian Air Force in cooperation with federal, state and municipal agencies, and governmental agencies.

Source: Agência Marinha de Notícias

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