Brazil's chief of the joint staff said the armed forces are set to carry out a joint security crackdown with Venezuela along the 2,850-kilometer border, citing their increased monitoring of the Brazil-Colombia frontier as a model.
Chief of the joint staff of Brazil's armed forces, Jose Carlos de Nardi, said during a visit to Caracas that Brazil is prepared to launch an operation with Venezuela to confront crime along their shared border.
"We've already done the border with Colombia to southern Brazil, and now it's time for Venezuela," de Nardi said.
Nardi's visit follows a meeting between the Venezuelan and Brazilian defense ministers in January, when the officials said they planned to increase anti-drug trafficking operations in the border region.
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De Nardi was short on details as to the resources the joint Brazil-Venezuela operation would involve, and whether heightened cooperation with Venezuela would mean increasing the number of security forces personnel in the border region. It is possible that rather than deploying troops, Brazil may deploy increased radar and satellite surveillance along the Venezuela frontier. This was the case with the Colombian border, where under the terms of a joint security agreement signed in 2011, Brazil committed to expanding its aerial monitoring of the their shared 2,219-kilometer frontier.
As de Nardi hinted, Brazil's interest in improving its cooperation with Venezuela in the interest of border security forms part of a much larger campaign. President Dilma Rousseff has said that tightening control of Brazil's borders is her government's number of security priority, and approved a $6.3 billion budget aimed at doing just that.
In March, Venezuela's defense minister said the government would deploy around 15,000 troops along the nation's borders to confront drug trafficking and illegal armed groups.