Brazil Deploys an Extra 3.500 Troops to Colombian Border

Citing concerns with drug trafficking in the Amazon, Brazil is dispatching 3,500 Army soldiers to be stationed on the Brazilian border with Colombia.

The head of the Amazon Military Command (CMA), general Villas Boas, says the reinforcements will join in combating narcotraffic and strengthening the area’s infrastructure.

"Brazil does not have border problems. Our borders were established peacefully. But there are problems with narcotraffic in the region.

"Our concern with the Farc (the Colombian guerrilla movement) is really a narcotraffic problem. The Farc does not operate militarily inside the Brazilian border," the general explained.

He went on to say that the presence of Army troops in remote Amazon areas means that there will be at least a minimum increase in transportation, energy, telecommunications, healthcare and educational facilities.

"We make it possible for the local population near our bases to receive governmental assistance," said general Villas Boas.

Meanwhile, the general coordinator of Brazilian Amazon Indigenous Groups (Coordenação das Organizações Indí­genas da Amazônia Brasileira) (Coiab), Jecinaldo Sateré-Mawé, says:

"The guerrilla movement and narcotraffic are a concern and a reality that also affect the indigenous peoples of this region."

Agência Brasil

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