February 26, 2008 / 12:47 AM / 12 years ago

Brazil police force to combat Amazon deforestation

A Para state policeman stands guard as a truck is loaded with logs that were illegally cut from the Amazon rain forest, during an operation by the state government to transport them to the state capital, near Tailandia, 180 km (112 miles) south of Belem, at the mouth of the Amazon River, February 25, 2008. Brazil's federal police said it launched an operation on Monday aimed at fighting deforestation in the Amazon, a week after townspeople clashed with local police over illegal sawmills. REUTERS/Paulo Santos

TAILANDIA, Brazil (Reuters) - Brazil’s federal police said it launched an operation on Monday aimed at fighting deforestation in the Amazon, a week after townspeople clashed with local police over illegal sawmills.

About 300 federal police agents and troopers from the paramilitary national security force arrived in northern Para state in helicopters and a caravan of vehicles. The operation dubbed Arch of Fire should have a total of 1,000 agents on the ground when it is in full force, the agency said.

“This operation will be permanent in nature,” a federal police spokesman said.

Violent protests broke out last week in Tailandia, about 112 miles south of Para state capital Belem, when local police seized 17,000 cubic yards of timber from illegal sawmills.

Logging is a mainstay of the local economy and Tailandia, with 140 sawmills, is at the center of a battle over land and resources within the Amazon. Hired gunmen are often involved and the town is one of Brazil’s most violent municipalities, according to official statistics on homicides.

Official figures released in January showed that between August and December of last year, about 2,703 square miles

were chopped down illegally in the Amazon rain forest. It was the first increase in deforestation after three years of declines.

Reporting by Carmen Munari and Paulo Santos, Writing by Elzio Barreto

0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below