Global General

Brazil announces new border plan to fight organized crime

Updated: 2011-06-09 10:46
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BRASILIA - Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Wednesday announced a new plan that will strengthen cooperation on border control with neighboring countries to fight organized crime.

The Strategic Border Plan, which gives the Brazilian Army power to carry out police actions, is the result of a long process of negotiation, Rousseff said.

"Until now there have been no effective mechanisms for the coordination (with neighboring countries). The plan was initiated in 2004 and completed in 2010," Rousseff said at a ceremony announcing the plan.

Coordination with other countries will help combat all forms of organized crime that occur in the fragile border regions, she said.

Brazil shares 16,000 km of borders with 10 countries in South America and the authorities have identified 34 places which have witnessed frequent organized crime.

Justice Minister Jose Eduardo Cardozo said border control in these places, which he did not specify, will be reinforced in joint action taken by the Federal Police, the Highway Police and the Armed Forces. The army will be responsible for logistics.

"We are creating a central coordinating body, the Joint Operations Center, where it will be possible to monitor operations online," he said.

The Federal Police will start using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) in the operations in September, and the government plans to double troops in the border area, Cardozo added.