Last week, Brazil began reinforcing its southern borders with about 9,000 more military troops as the fifth part of its war on criminal gangs, according to a U.S. security official who monitors South American organized crime.
The security source told the Law Enforcement Examiner that the border reinforcements are part of Operation Agatha 5, which the Brazilian government initiated on July 6 on their country's borders with Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay.
The deployment of troops is aimed at actively assisting Brazil's border security officers who are outgunned and out-manned by the crime groups that include drug cartels, the source said.
Also involved in what's expected to be a month-long operation are the Brazilian Air Force and Navy, who will use attack helicopters, jet fighters, patrol boats and high-tech equipment, he added.
Agatha 5's ultimate goal is to significantly reduce criminal activity such as drug trafficking, human trafficking and illegal mining, according to Defense Minister Celso Amorim, who is scheduled to visit southern Brazil Wednesday to inspect the operation in person, according to the Brazilian news media.
Amorim said Brazil's neighbors were informed of the operation in advance and invited to send observers, the news report said.
Brazilian authorities claim they've seized close to 3 tons of illicit drugs, along with 300 boats used by traffickers. They also claim to have confiscated 60 firearms and other weapons.
"Unlike the United States government, who send troops to its troubled borders to answer phones and shuffle paper, the Brazilian troops are taking an active role in protecting their nation's borders and combating those who violate their laws," said Police Lieutenant Thomas Spandell, a narcotic enforcement expert.
Jim Kouri, CPP, is founder and CEO of Kouri Associates, a homeland security, public safety and political consulting firm. He's formerly Fifth Vice-President, now a Board Member of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, an editor for ConservativeBase.com, and he's a columnist for Examiner.com. In addition, he's a blogger for the Cheyenne, Wyoming Fox News Radio affiliate KGAB (www.kgab.com) and editor of Conservative Base Magazine (www.conservativebase.com). Kouri also serves as political advisor for Emmy and Golden Globe winning actor Michael Moriarty.
He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at St. Peter's University and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country.
He holds a bachelor of science in Criminal Justice from Southwest University and SCI Technical School in New York City and completed training at the NYC Police Academy, FBI Continuing Education Program, and the Certified Protection Professional (CPP) of the American Society for Industrial Security.
Kouri appears regularly as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Fox News Channel, Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, etc.