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Brazil's new arms-trafficking frontier? The sea

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Brazil has more gun deaths than any other country in the world, and so the phenomenon of arms trafficking is a major concern.

Almost 20 percent of guns seized in the country are foreign produced, while those that cannot legally be sold in the country are legitimately produced in Brazil and then exported, before being smuggled back in, according to a study on arms trafficking by NGO Viva Rio, in collaboration with Brazil’s Justice Department.

According to a recent report by Correio Braziliense, the Federal Police say the increased use of maritime routes to smuggle arms is a significant development in arms trafficking into Brazil. Police identified Santos, in Sao Paulo, and Paranagua, in Parana – the country’s two biggest ports – as major points of entry for arms. They attributed this in part to the fact that there is so little oversight of imports in these ports, due to the large quantity of cargo passing through them. The growth in Brazil’s foreign trade is a major factor in driving maritime arms smuggling and the bulk of imports and exports and making it more difficult to spot illegal goods, according to the police.

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