Uruguay, Brazil agree to deepen fight against organized crime along the border
Authorities from Uruguay and Brazil defense authorities have held bilateral meetings towards coordinating joint efforts along the border between the two countries to carry out operations against drug trafficking and organized crime in the area.
Uruguay’s Minister of the Interior, Luis Alberto Heber, explained that the encounters with officials from the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul aimed at sharing the problems both sides have regarding these issues.
It seems important to me the level of human relationship that has to be had on the border to facilitate the action against crime, Heber said. In that sense, let’s hope that the fact of working together and elaborating documents where the problems that we may have in the legislations of both sides are put, it is important the contact and the human knowledge that can facilitate things with a phone call, he added.
Heber insisted that this initiative is very important and highlighted the presence of Brazilian authorities to undertake the joint effort.
The Uruguayan department (province) of Rivera has made local headlines recently for a wave of crimes and violence earlier this year. Heber underlined that these things did not happen again in August, which gives us peace of mind and allows us to see that they are temporary and not endemic because if we had eight homicides as we had in January we would be facing a serious problem.
Rivera’s authorities assured me that this was cyclical and if there were no territorial persecutions of Brazilian gangs that come and kill each other here, we would not be facing an increase in endemic homicides in the department, Heber went on.
Meanwhile, the armies of the two countries agreed to speed up the exchange of information during the encounter at the Northeast Regional Campus of the local university. In addition to Heber, representing Uruguay Tuesday morning were Defense Minister Javier García, Foreign Minister Francisco Bustillo, and Rivera Mayor Richard Sander.
García explained that both armies are to perform mirror drills to prevent criminal activity both in Rivera and in Santana do Livramento across the border.