Brazil’s Plan to Use Unmanned Vehicles to Fight Smugglers Ruffles Neighbors Feathers

VANT, VT-15 Brazil wants to use unmanned air vehicles, VANT, along the border areas of neighboring countries, Paraguay, Bolivia, Uruguay and Colombia in order to catch smugglers of drugs, weapons and other goods. 

Currently a VANT, VT-15, developed by the Brazilian Army Technological Center, based on Israeli technology, is overflying the Brazilian/Paraguayan border line, while negotiations are going on with Paraguayan authorities, according to the daily newspaper O Globo from Rio.

The purpose of the VANT flights is not only to protect the Brazilian rivers’ coastline but also monitor Paraguayan rivers’ particularly trying to detect clandestine docks and piers used by smugglers as well as marijuana cultivations, quite common in the area.

O Globo reports that the governments of Paraguay, Bolivia and Uruguay have said they are willing to consider the Brazilian request, but not the Colombians.

Apparently the issue has already been addressed with Paraguayan and Uruguayan authorities. In the case of Paraguay, Brazilian Minister of Justice Luiz Paulo Barreto has spoken about it directly with President Fernando Lugo.

Paraguayan officials have admitted that they are willing to authorize VANT over flights along the border areas and shared water courses but Brazil must promise to hand a copy of all the intelligence gathered over Paraguayan territory.

Apparently the Brazilian government wants a detailed charter of the border area with Paraguay to pin point marijuana and other narcotics plantations, and clandestine ports used by smugglers to contraband drugs, arms and merchandise into Brazilian territory.

“The VT-15 will enable both countries to better coordinate and combat narcotics and other illegal activities,” according to sources quoted by O Globo.

Brazil is preparing to host several international events, World Cup in 2014, Americas Cup 2015 and the Olympic Games in 2016, for which it has begun a clean up operation in the hundreds of favelas (shantytowns) that surround mainly the city of Rio de Janeiro and are infested with organized crime.

Currently federal and state special forces with support from Army sharp shooters, helicopters, armored vehicles and naval logistics have taken some of the most dangerous favelas after several days of fighting.

President Lula and president-elect Dilma Rousseff openly support the operation and have promised to keep the troops for at least six months to ensure drug dealers are smoked out from among the millions that live in the favelas.

Intelligence reports have followed the narcotics trail mainly to Paraguay and Bolivia, as well as the heavy weapons some of the criminal gangs are armed with.

Police helicopters operating in the favelas carry special belly armored defenses to protect them from ground shooters.

Nevertheless the gangs have managed to down a couple of helicopters, one recently killing several special forces sharpshooters, and the other with a propelled rocket which was tracked to smugglers from the Paraguayan border.

O Globo finally points out that negotiations can be difficult since there is the very sensitive issue of “sovereignty”, but all indicates that “with Paraguay it’s a closed deal.” 

Mercopress

Tags:

Ads

You May Also Like

Agrarian Reform Being Delivered As Promised, Says Brazil

The Brazilian Minister of Agrarian Development, Miguel Rossetto, said that, through September, the government’s ...

Brazil President Meets with Plaza de Mayo Mothers in Buenos Aires

Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff in her first overseas trip as chief of state ratified ...

US Indicts Brazilian Indy-500 Champ Castroneves on Tax Evasion

Brazilian car racer Hélio Castroneves, 33. a resident of Coral Gables, in Florida, and ...

Flight 1907: Brazil’s Air Force Rebuffs Colombian Pilot Who Panned Air Controllers

Brazilian aviation authorities told yesterday, October 24, that they had finally found a missing ...

Spread of Soybean Culture Helps Denying Brazilian Indians Their Land

In the state of Mato Grosso, located in the west region of Brazil, there ...

Until World Gets Internationalized the Amazon Belongs to Brazilians Alone

In October 2000, I published an article entitled “A Internacionalização da Amazônia” (The Internationalization ...

Finance Minister Expects 4.5% Growth in Brazil’s GDP

Brazil’s Minister of Finance, Guido Mantega predicts that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which ...

Carnaval Brasileiro in Boston

Carnaval in Boston Is Not Only for Homesick Brazilians Anymore

Brazil’s Carnaval drums are about to conquer Boston! Samba, frevo, marchinha, batucada, bloco-afro and ...

Brazil Tells the World: We’re Not Giving Up WTO’s Doha Round

The South American bloc Mercosur and the European Union reaffirmed their commitment to reach ...

Brazil: Anything to Keep the Youth in the Countryside

Ten young Brazilian farmers, nine men and one woman, between the ages of 18 ...