AND: Army develops projects to combat the “internal enemy”

We publish an unofficial translation of the article of A Nova Democracia found here.

During last weeks, the reactionary Brazilian army rewarded, by the news, large sums of money to develop “strategic projects”: at least it will be of R$1.5 billions destined by PLOA [translator’s note: Projeto de Lei Orçamentária Anual – Anual budget bill] of 2024 to this function. Among the strategic projects announced so far by the Command of the ground forces, the development of drones and new helicopters stands out, with a forecast for use focused on the Amazonia region.

In addition to the billion and a half, R$52.8 billions of the Novo PAC [translator’s note: Novo Programa de Aceleração do Crescimento – New Growth Acceleration Program] are destined for the Armed Forces as a whole, from which the Army will receive R$12,4 billions of the total.

In a recent interview the press monopoly of the São Paulo State, the chief of Staff of the corporation, General Fernando José Soares stated: “In the case of the Army, aviation has to do with helicopters, to increase our capacity of troop-transport, specially in the Amazonia region. And also included [sic] in this package is a new equipment that are drones”.

Because of the history of the reactionary force and the Amazonia region, the declaration is intriguing. It is known that the main interest of the reactionary Brazilian Army is not the defense of the region against foreign countries and external powers. Only from 2017 until today, there were at least three joint exercise done with the Yankee army, and more over other foreign armies, in the Amazonia region.

In 2017, AmazonLog was done in “cooperation” with the reactionary armies of Peru and Colombia under the supervision of the Yankee (United States, USA) army. Other military exercise was done in Rondônia in 2020, under the supervision of the former Yankee secretary of State and the former CIA agent Mike Pompeo, in which a confrontation between an Army from “red country” against a “blue country” was simulated. Core 2023” is still expected to take place, to be carried out again together with the Yankee Army.

Army already used aviation to repress peasants

The Army’s history with airborne equipment for military purposes also does not indicate a focus on defending against external threats. Still without its own developed aviation, in the 1970s the Army used helicopters from the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) in operations against the guerrilla of Araguaia, of which two were defeated. Army operations included torture of peasants and guerrillas, in addition to executions and macabre flights over the region where the bodies of the executed were hung on the planes.

About twenty years later, the Brazilian reactionary army carried out the first operation by its own aviation. This time, in a joint operation with the Colombian reactionary army against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The group composed mainly of armed peasants did not have expansionist aspirations for Brazil, but the armed struggle for land in Colombia. According to the Army itself, the FARC operation was not about “expansionism”, but rather retaliation for the Brazilian Army’s repression against gold-digging peasants in the Amazonia region. The Army’s justification for the response, called “Betray Operation”, was also not about “defense against an external threat”, but rather an operation to recover weapons. The balance was 12 guerrillas killed by reactionary troops.

The situation in the Amazonia region today is not significantly different from what the Army intended to combat in the Araguaia region from 1972 onwards, or in the Colombian Amazonia territory in the 1990s, despite the difference of the existence of initiated guerrilla warfare both in Araguaia in 1967-74 as in Colombia. It is proven that the Amazonia region is the arena of the struggle for land in the country. There are tens of thousands of peasants involved in the so-called “conflicts for land” in the region, according to the latest reports from the Pastoral Land Commission (CPT).

Therefore, the new projects are the maintenance of the military strategy of the Brazilian Army, passed from generation to generation through the corporation’s studies plans, aimed at combating the “internal enemy”. The military’s strategic planning, after all, is only a sign of their despair in the face of the possibility of new peasant rebellions in the Amazonia.

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