Illegal mining is a multifactorial issue, says Army commander in the Amazon – 05/09/2021 – Power

Chief of the Military Command of the Amazon, General Guilherme Cals Theophilo Gaspar de Oliveira, 60, says that illegal mining in border regions involves a “multifactorial issue” and that the approach to the problem cannot be attributed to the Army alone.

In an interview with leaf by email, he avoids exposing his view on the demarcation of the Raposa Serra do Sol Indigenous Land (RR). “I don’t have a say in government decisions,” he says.

In several regions of the border strip, such as the Yanomami Indigenous Lands (AM / RR) and Raposa Serra do Sol (RR), there is a proliferation of illegal mining. Why can’t the Army stop this crime, mapped by satellite imagery? The Military Command of the Amazon acts in accordance with constitutional and legal precepts, which includes the fulfillment of its subsidiary duties. In them, acting independently or in cooperation with other organs of the Executive Branch, and respecting the exclusive competences of the judicial police, it carries out preventive and repressive actions against cross-border and environmental crimes in the border strip, where the Yanomami and Raposa Serra Indigenous Lands are located. of the sun.

In addition, it frequently cooperates with federal agencies, when requested, in the repression of crimes of national and international repercussion, in the national territory, in the form of logistical support, intelligence, communications and instruction.

In this sense, several actions are triggered by the troops of this command, such as the establishment of Bases of Ethno-Environmental Protection and patrols on the Mucajaí and Uraricoera rivers, to strangle the prospectors’ logistics.

In addition to bases, actions are also launched to deactivate gold mining, the most recent being those carried out in the Homoxi 1 indigenous communities, at the Maracá Ecological Station 2 and in the Serra do Atola 3 and Surucucu 4 regions.

It turns out that illegal mining is a multifactorial issue, giving rise to a comprehensive approach, with the Military Command of the Amazon being only one of the actors to act in this approach.

One of his predecessors at the CMA, General Augusto Heleno, said in 2008 that he considered the demarcation of the TI Raposa Serra do Sol (RR) a risk to national sovereignty. Mr. do you share the same vision? I, as the military commander of the Amazon, do not have the task of commenting on the opinion of my predecessors, nor do I have an opinion on government decisions.

Recently, the Army stopped operating on Ilha das Flores (near São Gabriel da Cachoeira, on the border with Colombia and Venezuela), at a time when the flow of drugs along the Negro River is increasing, according to the Civil Police. What is the reason for the deactivation? The Military Command of the Amazon articulates its military organizations, platoons, bases and posts in the immensity of the Western Amazon, aiming at the monitoring and control of the region, with purposes that include preventing and repressing cross-border crimes.

In this sense, it decided to establish a River Control and Inspection Post in Flores Island to act ostensibly and permanently during a certain period.

However, starting in February of this year, operational factors led to the decision to modify the way in which the area operates, prioritizing the execution of unexpected and intermittent actions, not only to control fluvial inspection, but also other operational techniques.

It is noteworthy, therefore, that the troops of the Military Command of the Amazon did not stop operating in the region, being opportune to inform that, within this conception of action, on February 11, 1,144.9 kg of skank were seized, in an action of the 5th Jungle Infantry Battalion at this location.

In some regions, the Army assumes other functions of the State, such as the administration of hospitals in Tabatinga and São Gabriel. Does the CMA intend to change that in the medium term? In São Gabriel da Cachoeira, the hospital belongs to the government and is administered by the Army. In Tabatinga, the Guarnição Hospital belongs to the Army. Both continue to provide the same service, with no known change in their activities. It is worth noting that both hospitals serve the civilian population, which also represents the majority of the services, according to an agreement with the state of Amazonas.

In São Gabriel da Cachoeira, hundreds of indigenous people enlist each year, but there is no news that any of them managed to become an army career officer. Because? The career of combatant officer of the Brazilian Army is accessed through a contest held every year. There are also vacancies for career officers in other specialties, which are also filled through competitive examinations.

Military colleges are considered public, and their students benefit from quota programs at federal universities, for example. Mr. Do you believe that the Army should have a similar policy in its military schools of higher education? The Army competitions follow the public policies of the Brazilian State. It is mentioned, for example, that in the ExPECEx (Cadets Preparatory School) competition in 2020, there was a 20% quota (of the male and female universes) for self-declared black candidates, as provided by law.

In São Gabriel, cases of indigenous women who become pregnant with military personnel and are later abandoned are recurrent. Does the CMA have a specific policy to prevent such cases, especially in Special Border Platoons (PEFs)? The mentioned fact is not known to this military area command. We are a family owned and operated business.

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