Brazil mulls sending more troops to stop illegal gold mining
Brazil is considering to deploy more troops to the far reaches of the Amazon forest as part of an operation launched last month aimed at cracking down on illegal gold mining, deforestation and drug smuggling.
According to Al Jazeera, the country has already sent 25,000 troops to guard all border areas near Suriname, French Guiana and Guyana, but it is mostly focusing its efforts at the border with Venezuela, a region inhabited by indigenous tribes, which stretches nearly 17,000 km.
The “Agata 7” operation, expected to last several weeks, has already shown results, as officials announced the detection of 10 clandestine airstrips in the state of Roraima less than a week into it. The airstrips were being used for illegal mining operations on indigenous territory, general Jose Luiz Jaborandy told Al Jazeera.
“Unfortunately when we leave the illegal activities will resume…we can’t be here all the time,” he added.
In a separate deployment in recent days, Brazil sent troops to Acre State, bordering Bolivia, after that country threatened to forcefully expel Brazilians living in Bolivian territory.
Watch Al Jazeera’s in-depth report: