Brazil mobilizes troops to southern borders in anti-narco drive

Brazil on Aug. 8 announced the mobilization of nearly 9,000 military troops to its borders with four neighboring countries as part of an operation aimed at interrupting narco-trafficking networks. Army, navy and air force personnel are being deployed along the frontiers with Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia and Uruguay, the Defense Ministry said in announcing the mobilization, which has been carried out as an annual exercise since 2007. “One of our objectives is to control the airspace which is being used for illegal activities such as the drug trade and other contraband,” said Brigade Commander Jose Geraldo Ferreira. The operation, code-named Agata 5, will last 30 days and bring F-5 fighter jets to the skies above the border zones. It will also involve sending troops to Brazil’s Amazon region to crack down on outlaw gold mining. (BrazzilMag, Bernama, UPI, AP, Aug. 8)