Brazil’s 3,400 kilometer long border with Bolivia will be controlled by nine new border posts beginning this year. The first border post was inaugurated on Friday, March 17, by Brazilian Minister of Justice, Márcio Thomaz Bastos, in Costa Marques, state of Rondônia.
The Bolivia-Brazil border is an area of illegal lumbering and fishing, not to mention drug traffic.
"We will respect Bolivian territorial rights, which means we will seek to halt these illegal activities on the Brazilian side of the border. But when we do that, most of the activity just moves across the river into Bolivia," explains Nebio Casara, of the Brazilian Environmental Protection Institute (Ibama).
Each of the nine border posts will have tax, animal and plant sanitation, and environmental protection agents. Their work will be coordinated by the Federal Police which will have 54 agents in the region.
According to Bastos, after Brazil approved a law allowing authorities to shot down suspect aircraft, drug traffickers have changed tactics and are now doing their business by land and river.
"These border posts are a fundamental part of an effort we began in 2003 to control our borders. We intend to mark presence with all the countries we have borders with. Now we are engaged in Operation Brabo (Brazil-Bolivia)," explained the minister.
Bastos said that in dealing with narcotraffic brute force was not enough.
"Narcotraffic is a serious problem that we have to confront with strength and efficiency. We have to be organized and have good intelligence. In the last three years the Federal Police have been able to successfully attack narcotraffic in 70 different operations because we are efficient," he declared.