VIGIA Program Integrates Military and Public Security Institutions to Protect Brazilian Borders

first_imgBy Nelza Oliveira / Diálogo January 24, 2020 On December 16, 2019, Brazil launched its first Integrated Border Operation Center (CIOF, in Portuguese) in Foz do Iguaçu, in the state of Paraná, as part of the VIGIA Program. The Ministry of Justice and Public Security (MJSP, in Portuguese) created the program in April, which the Secretariat of Integrated Operations (Seopi, in Portuguese) implemented.According to Wagner Mesquita, general coordinator of Seopi’s Fight against Organized Crime, CIOF is a command and control office for overt operations, to generate and share information, direct coordinated actions, and increase the use of technological tools through satellites, cameras, sensors, and drones.The VIGIA Program brings together for the first time the work of military institutions and public security agencies to protect the nearly 10,570 miles of border between 11 Brazilian states and 10 South American countries, to increase the control and fight against transborder crimes, such as smuggling, drugs, arms, and ammunition trafficking. Service members from the three forces work alongside police agencies and other federal government institutions.VIGIA includes the acquisition of cutting-edge equipment, personnel training by national and international organizations, and the installation of operational bases with integrated systems. Between April and December 2019, the program contributed to the seizure of 28.5 million smuggled cigarettes, 412 vehicles, 57.6 tons of drugs, 77 vessels, and 16 tons of pesticides.“It’s important to point out that this is the first joint effort from the institutions that operate directly on the border, with integrated work between public security agents and institutions. That’s why we had such positive results,” MJSP’s Social Communication Department told Diálogo.In 2019, the VIGIA Program held 13 trainings for its members, such as one that the Brazilian Army’s Special Operations Command conducted in September. (Photo: Brazilian Ministry of Justice and Public Security)American inspirationThroughout 2019, VIGIA held 13 classes taught by different national and foreign organizations to train its members. In November, U.S. Special Operations Command South, through VIGIA, supported classes on Operational Design and Joint Planning and Tactical Pre-Hospital Care. Members of U.S. Army’s Seventh Special Forces Group taught the classes to military, civilian, and federal police officers. Since the start of the program, 350 professionals have been trained.The United States also inspired CIOF, which based its surveillance after the guidelines that followed 9/11. CIOF’s headquarters is Foz do Iguaçu, a strategic location because of its border with Paraguay, and as one of the country’s main import and export free-trade areas. Foz do Iguaçu is also home to the Itaipú Binational Hydroelectric Dam, which generates 15 percent of the electricity consumed in Brazil and 90 percent of that consumed in Paraguay. CIOF operates from a 6,458 square-mile area at the Itaipú Technological Park.“It’s as though there was a permanent task force to prevent and take strong actions against border crimes (smuggling, drugs and arms trafficking, terrorism funding, and protection of important country structures). For this reason, Itaipú was strategically selected,” said Minister of Justice and Public Security Sérgio Moro, at the center’s inauguration.“The launch of this center will revolutionize the overt operations model. Criminal organizations became stronger, and began using modern logistics resources, and now MJSP is investing in new work methods, especially when it comes to integrated actions and information sharing,” Mesquita said at CIOF’s inauguration.last_img read more

DONALDSON INQUEST ADJOURNED: FAMILY TO SUE STATE OVER DELAY

first_imgTHE inquest into the murder of IRA agent Denis Donaldson has been adjourned again today as a lawyer representing his family said he had been instructed to take proceedings against the Irish State.Donaldson, 56, was murdered in his remote home at Classey, Cloghercor, outside Glenties on April 4th 2006.He had been operating as a British spy for 20 years and was shot four times in the chest, face, arm and hand in a rented cottage. Although there have been two arrests relating to Donaldson’s brutal murder, nobody has ever been charged in connection with it.At the time of the murder it was blamed on the Provisional IRA.But the Real IRA in Derry later claimed responsibility for the killing with mainstream republicans claiming the death suited the British intelligence establishment.Denis Donaldson’s daughter Jane wrote to the Irish Times ahead of a scheduled pre-inquest hearing in Donegal.“It is my family’s sincere hope that we shall be permitted to proceed unhindered with an Article 2 compliant inquest of the standard required to ensure disclosure from state agencies – North and South – of all the facts surrounding the murder of Denis Donaldson,” she wrote.The family believe that the Special Branch “holds vital information about his earlier exposure [as an agent] and subsequent murder”, and it is the disclosure of that “full knowledge” that they are seeking.Today Garda Supt Michael Finnan told the inquest that a file on the killing would be sent to the DPP “within weeks.’An adjournment was needed to allow the file to be completed and allow the DPP to take a decision on whether or not there should be prosecutions.However Ciaran Shiels, solicitor, for the Donaldson family told coroner Denis McCauley that he was taking an action against the Irish State under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights because of the undue delay in holding an inquest.The delay, he said during a 40-minute hearing, was beyond the time period specified as unacceptable in previous cases.The case was adjourned until November 8.At hearingDONALDSON INQUEST ADJOURNED: FAMILY TO SUE STATE OVER DELAY was last modified: April 26th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more