The election of Democrat Joe Biden to the US presidency prompted the Jair Bolsonaro government to adopt the discourse of military occupation of the Amazon as a show of force to other countries. The strategy, however, can only be rhetorical: the Brazilian government is expected to have a lower presence of military personnel in the region over the next two years.
The position of showing the world that the Amazon is not abandoned was expressed by the Minister of Defense, General Fernando Azevedo e Silva. In a letter sent on December 9 to the Chamber of Deputies, to explain the largest simulation war operation ever carried out in the region, in 2020, the minister defended the strategy.
“The military operations carried out in the Amazon show the world that Brazil cared about being present in this strategic part of the national territory”, declared the Minister of Defense, portfolio to which are linked the army, the army of air and navy.
By this time, Biden had already been elected President of the United States. Five days later, the Electoral College confirmed the Democrat’s victory in the US presidential race.
The position of the Minister of Defense may not be taken up in reality. Folha has learned that two of the main military occupation fronts in the Amazon areas are expected to decline in 2021 and 2022.
The Vice President of the Republic informed the report that the militarization of the inspection of environmental crimes in the Amazon is not expected to be extended, which means it is expected to be closed on April 30 of this year.
The Vice-President, General Hamilton Mourão, chairs the National Council of Legal Amazonia, which is responsible for the implementation of the GLO (Guarantee of Public Order) promulgated for the Amazon region.
Thanks to this GLO, the army began to undertake operations Verde Brasil 1 and 2. The first involved 9,700 soldiers and cost 124.4 million reais. The second is underway and will end on April 30. It employs 3,000 soldiers.
Verde Brasil is a government attempt to respond to the increasing rates of deforestation, fires and illegal extraction and logging in the Amazon. In practice, the military ignored the performance of inspectors from Ibama (Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources).
According to Mourão’s opinion, there are no studies for the renewal of GLO and the operation should be completed in April. The reason, according to the opinion, is “fiscal and budgetary limits”.
The Department of Defense is also unlikely to repeat simulated war operations with the scale of the training carried out in September 2020 – called Operation Amazon.
“As for a comparison with Operation Amazon, there is no forecast for exercises of this magnitude for the next two years,” the ministry’s adviser to Folha said, with information provided by the ‘army.
In September, the army mobilized 3,600 soldiers to simulate a war between two countries, the Red and the Blue. The first invaded the second, in the simulation.
The operation lasted 15 days, with the participation of soldiers from army posts all over the country and second-hand vehicles, planes, helicopters and ferries. In the war simulation, rockets from the Army’s Astros system were launched, one of the Force’s bets on armaments investments.
The training operation in the Amazon took place at the same time as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was visiting Roraima, a region bordering Venezuela. He is one of the biggest names in the Donald Trump administration. Brazilian Chancellor Ernesto Araújo accompanied Pompeo on the visit, which was severely criticized.
Biden takes the US presidency on Wednesday (20). He criticizes the destruction of the Amazon and has taken the issue to his campaign.
The then-candidate said “Brazil’s rainforest is being destroyed” and said he would join other countries, if elected, to offer US $ 20 billion for the preservation of the biome. “Stop destroying the forest, and if you don’t, you will have significant economic consequences,” he said during the campaign. Bolsonaro criticized Biden’s stance, which he called “regrettable.”
The Brazilian president continued to put himself in a position opposite to that of the Democrat. Bolsonaro remains with Trump even after the invasion of Capitol Hill in Washington at the Republican’s request. The Brazilian was one of the last to recognize the Democrat’s victory and reproduce the false rhetoric of fraud in the US elections.
In November, in a reference to Biden’s criticism of the Amazon policy, Bolsonaro went on to say that “when your saliva is used up you must have gunpowder.” The alleged threat of a war conflict with the United States has become a joke. And boredom in military summits.
The defense minister, in his letter to the House, based on a request for explanations from PT deputies, said there was no chance of a conflict between Brazil and no South American country, nor “the threat of invasion of national territory.” “Or” signs of imminent mobilization of staff. “
“The armed forces must remain in a permanent state of preparation to maintain the inviolability of the national territory,” he said.
The military commands of the Amazon and the North, of the army, have a staff of 29,000 people. The numbers have remained constant. The aeronautics sector has 26,000 soldiers in the Amazon region. The number of Navy personnel stands at 6,300, the highest in the past three years.
“The installation of several units at the border and in the most remote corners of the Amazon guarantees the Brazilian presence and national sovereignty, often representing the only presence of the state”, indicated, in a note, the ministry of the defense.