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Rio: An island of relative safety in a sea of vulnerability?

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Brazil has 16,000 kilometers of dry borders, a totally vulnerable area, plus 9,000 kilometers of territorial ocean, and a river 4,000 kilometers long,” State Public Safety Secretary José Mariano Beltrame told a panel audience last week at the annual Global Economy Symposium, held this year in Rio de Janeiro by the German Bertelsmann Foundation and the Kiehl Institute for the World Economy.

“It’s very difficult,” he went on. “Arms, drugs, and mass munition aren’t produced in Brazil, much less in Rio… The country must have a very clear national policy to protect its borders… this problem isn’t being dealt with in a visible manner and with results that citizens can evaluate. It ends up in the hands of the states.”

Mr. Beltrame then shifted his sights from the Brazilian federal government, to other countries.

“Our number one enemy is the automatic rifle, but we don’t have Brazilian automatic rifles; this equipment comes from abroad, mostly from the United States. The producer country should keep track of these transactions. Worse than the weapon is the munition, because munition you buy over and over. There are mechanisms for finding these weapons. Countries have the capability to do this,” Beltrame said.

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