Brazil deploys 7,000 troops to combat drug trafficking

The international Friendship Bridge linking Paraguay with Brazil.</p>

The international Friendship Bridge linking Paraguay with Brazil.

Brazil has deployed thousands of troops along its southern border to combat drug trafficking and organized crime.

The operation began on Friday and is scheduled to last until next Monday. There are 7,000 troops and more than 30 warplanes policing the 3,500-kilometer border with Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, reports InfoBae.

The governor of the state of Parana, Carlos Alberto Richa, said the goal was to halt illegal activities that hurt the image of Brazil, reported ABC. He said the operation would aim to stop the supply of drugs, weapons and money to criminal organizations that contribute to the climate of insecurity in Rio and Sao Paolo.

Seventy percent of the drugs and contraband cigarettes that enter Brazil come through the illegal ports along the Parana River and Itaipu Lake, according to statistics from Brazil's federal police, reported ABC.

The police estimate that drug trafficking from Paraguay has risen sharply in the last three years.

The deployment was coordinated with the governments of those three countries, reported ANSA.

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