Five Brazilian Navy vessels, carrying 200 Marines, departed Monday, May 1st, from Rio de Janeiro on their way to Haiti. The Marines will become part of the troops assigned to the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), which is under Brazilian command.
The Brazilian fleet is composed of the combat-vehicle landing vessel, "Mattoso Maia," the docking and landing vessel, "Rio de Janeiro, " the frigates "Niterói" and "Independência," and the tanker ship, "Gastão Motta." The Marines constitute the fifth Brazilian contingent dispatched to Haiti.
The trip to Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital, is expected to take 30 days. The military forces will use the journey to carry out naval war exercises along the Brazilian coast. The exercises bear the name of the Tropicalex Operation.
The 200 Marines will replace a Navy contingent that is currently part of the MINUSTAH forces. The number of military personnel that will be returning to Brazil was not provided.
According to the most recent information furnished by the United Nations, the peace force includes 1,200 Brazilian troops. Besides them, there are 6.2 thousand military personnel, all under the command of the Brazilian general, José Elito Carvalho Siqueira.