In a public hearing Tuesday before the Financial Supervisory Commission in the Chamber of Deputies, Brazilian Justice Minister José Eduardo Cardozo announced that the country will double the number of security personnel on its borders by 2014. The strategy will focus on increasing the police presence along the Bolivian, Colombian and Peruvian borders, with the exact number of federal police and military personnel to be confirmed.
The move represents an effort to stem the flow of illegal arms and drugs that have helped lead to increasing violence along Brazil’s 16,000-kilometer (9,942-mile) border, which is five times longer than the border between the U.S. and Mexico.
Even though Brazil is now the world’s second largest cocaine consumer, many of the drugs entering the country are then smuggled beyond Brazil. According to the 2012 World Drug Report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, drugs from Brazil are commonly moved on to Africa (mostly western and southern Africa) and shipped to Europe.
Minister Cardozo also responded to concerns about a recent wave of violence in São Paulo’s favelas due to a growing conflict between the police and a gang known as the Primeiro Comando da Capital (First Command of the Capital—PCC), and stressed the importance of both federal and state governments working together.