Brazil’s Defense Minister Wants Greater Military Presence in the Amazon

Brazil’s Minister of Defense and vice president, José Alencar, says that there should be a greater presence of Brazilian Armed Forces in the Amazon region, along with more funding for Army, Air Force and Navy activities there.

Alencar called the Amazon the Ministry of Defense’s most important area. Speaking to an audience of military personnel and students at the First Seminar on National Defense in the Amazon (1º Seminário Defesa Nacional em Debate: Amazônia), he declared he would discuss the issue with President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

Alencar said the development of the Amazon was urgent and that the 13 million inhabitants of the region get little assistance.

The Defense Minister said the nation and the Congress must recognize that a large part of what assistance there is in the Amazon comes from a small group of dedicated men and women in the Armed Forces.

"We need to provide more funding so that those who care for the Amazon can work with efficiency," said Alencar.

ABr

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