The Brazilian government announced Tuesday the launch of a vast operation along its borders with Bolivia and Peru, in which 7,500 soldiers will carry out combat missions for two weeks against drug trafficking and other criminal activities.
Peruvian and Bolivian authorities were previously notified about the operation and were invited to send observers as part of border cooperation plans that exist with both countries, Defense Minister Celso Amorim said in a statement.
The troops in Operation Agata 6 will have the support of fighter-bombers, combat helicopters, patrol boats and armored cars deployed along the 4,216 kilometers (2,620 miles) of the country's Amazon region borders with Peru and Bolivia.
Besides carrying out border security duties, the troops will also perform a number of social missions, above all in the field of health care.
The operation is part of a border security plan that the Brazilian government has been developing since last year and will be similar to one carried out in August along the country's borders with Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay.
According to the defense minister, Operation Agata 6 will be the last one this year, and will be followed in 2013 by "at least another three" of similar dimensions, with "the goal of giving the Brazilian state a presence on its borders."
Taking part in the operation along with the soldiers will be officials of Brazilian environmental, indigenous affairs and tax agencies, which with armed forces support will investigate possible crimes in their corresponding fields.
In the operation carried out in August on the borders with Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay, Brazilian authorities seized 880 kilos (1,940 pounds) of marijuana, cocaine and other drugs, while also confiscating 11,730 kilos (13 tons) of explosives. EFE