Brazil’s Biggest Ever Border Crackdown Brings Results

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Authorities highlighed drug seizure and arrest statistics in an updated review of Brazil’s $6.3 billion border security plan.

Between July and December, Brazilian security forces seized 99 tons of marijuana and 15.8 tons of cocaine in 11 border states, according to AFP. The Minister of Justice said that security forces carried out 14 times as many arrests and seizures during the last six months of 2011, compared to the first half of the year. 

President Dilma Rousseff has said that improving monitoring of Brazil’s 16,000 kilometer border is her administration’s number one security priority. The government has budgeted billions of dollars towards strengthening border defense over the next eight years.

As part of the crackdown, Brazil deployed 6,500 troops along the Paraguay, Bolivia and Peru frontiers in November. According to the Ministry of Justice, there are now 2.4 million police and military troops deployed in border states, up from just 390,000 at the beginning of 2011. 

Below is data released by the Ministry of Justice on seizures and arrests registered along the border region since July.

Narcotics seized 115.257 tons
Weapons seized 534
Ammunition seized 75,128
Arrests 4,242
Contraband cigarette packs seized 4,373,901
Cash seized  2.6 million reales and $407,432
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