CFR is in Foz do Iguacu Brazil this week with local military and law enforcement agencies for Agata 8. Basically 30,000 military personnel engaging in border operations across Brazil’s vast 16,000 km border in conjunction with other Brazilian law enforcement agencies. Foz do Iguacu sits on one of Brazil’s nine triple border points (Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina). Across the Parana River in Paraguay is Cuidad del Este. The bridge between the two cities is the only bridge across the Parana River. It is a log jam every day for tens of thousands of people and vehicles moving back and forth between the two countries.

Foz do Iguacu is also a major transit route for the smuggling and transfer of illegal goods across the frontier. Twenty four hours ago three cars were seized, stolen in eastern Brazil and destined for Paraguay where they will be traded for drugs, weapons or simply sold. In fact, the operation, which lasts weeks, will net a vast amount of drugs, weapons, cigarettes, fuel, endangered animals and other contraband products entering or leaving Brazil.

Critics of Op Agata say it is just a drop in the bucket and has no lasting impact. On the other hand, Brazil is getting more serious about securing its borders including the development of a nation wide border monitoring mission SisFron or Sistema Integrado de Monitoramento de Fronteiras, which will be implemented in stages over the next decade. CFR is here filming its next documentary film exploring the complexity of Brazil’s frontier for the Beyond the Border documentary film series. (see our most recent film Unfortunate Brothers: Korea’s Reunification Dilemma on Vimeo On Demand.)

Time to put on the body armor–night operation.

More to follow.

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On the Frontier

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