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President of Brazil to receive plan against organized crime in Amazon

Brasilia, Jun 17 (Prensa Latina) President of Brazil Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva will receive the signature of the contract to allocate 318.5 million reais (about 62 million dollars) from the Amazon Fund for the so-called Amazon Plan: Security and Sovereignty (AMAS).

Apart from investing in federal and local police, intelligence, and inspections, other actions will be reinforced by acquiring and renting equipment to fight organized crime, such as medium-sized helicopters, armored boats, and vehicles.

One of the main objectives of AMAS is to structure and equip the International Police Cooperation Center, in Manaus, capital of the state of Amazonas, and strengthen integration with the Environmental Operations Company, a unit of the National Force specialized in combating deforestation.

The idea is to expand and facilitate the exchange of information between federal security forces, representatives of the public security secretariats of the nine states of the Legal Amazon, and representatives of the other countries that make up the biotic community.

Environmental organizations have warned that the expansion of criminal factions increases indicators of violence in the region and aggravates criminal actions linked to the devastation of the Amazon, such as deforestation, mining, land grabbing, and fires.

The presentation entitled Cartographies of Violence in the Amazon, released in November by the Brazilian Public Security Forum and the Madre Criolla Institute, warned that criminal factions gained ground in the region, not only expanding drug trafficking but also associating them with environmental crimes that devastate the Amazon.

A third of the region’s inhabitants live in conflict areas and clashes between criminal groups. At least 8.3 million people live there, who are subject to the dynamics of extreme violence in their routines, such as exchanges of gunfire and murders in broad daylight. 59 percent of the region’s population, equal to 15.4 million persons, live under the rule of at least one of those factions.