I recently had a letter published in this week’s edition (January 31-February 6) of The Economist. The letter, which I’ve copied and pasted below, is in response to this article about the Brazilian military from the January 17 edition of the economist, and is related to the 24 January commentary found on LatAmThought about securing the Brazil-Paraguay border.

Plugging Brazil’s Border Gap

“As well as exerting influence in foreign affairs and policing the Amazon, there is a more immediate reason for increasing the size of the Brazilian army (“But what is it for?”, January 17th). The Brazil-Paraguay border is vast, largely uninhabited and poorly patrolled and is the point of entry for many of the illegal arms smuggled into Brazil that end up in the hands of gangs in the coastal cities. Strengthening Brazil’s army at this border may be just as important to protecting lives and safeguarding national interests as expanding its presence anywhere else in Brazil or abroad.”