Brazil Goes After Criminals in Amazon

Military hunts loggers, drug traffickers

Aerial picture of the Amazon

Aerial picture of the Amazon     Photo: CIAT International Center for Tropical Agriculture/Flick

The Brazilian military this week launched an 8,500-soldier strong effort to stop illegal logging, mining, and drug trafficking in the Amazon rainforest. The operation will target Brazil's 3,000-mile border with Suriname, Venezuela, and Guyana, a sparsely populated region that is home to a growing trade in drugs and minerals. On Thursday, the operation uncovered 10 airstrips likely used for cocaine trafficking. Brazil's government is also hoping to signal its commitment to biodiversity in the area as it prepared to host a UN summit on sustainability next month. "The Amazon is Brazil’s No. 1 priority from a strategic viewpoint, given its importance to humanity as a source of water, biodiversity and food production," operation chief General Eduardo Dias da Costa Villas Boas said.

Read more at The New York Times

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