Brazil begins mega-operation against drug traffic in Amazon region

02/11/2003 - 19h36

Manaus, 11/3/2003 (Agência Brasil - ABr) - Tomorrow the Federal Police and Air Force will launch a mega-operation, "Princess of the Pampas," to combat drug traffic in the Amazon region. The government's base of operations will be in São Gabriel da Cachoeira, in the state of Amazonas, where no less than 10 combat aircraft from the Air Force base in Anapolis, state of Goias, will be transferred. Another 10 aircraft will fly in from Santa Maria, Rio Grande do Sul, and Santa Cruz, Rio de Janeiro. They will be joined by a C-130 cargo plane and a CH-34 Super Puma helicopter.

The principal objective of the operation is to destroy an illegal landing strip in a location known as Caparro, in the Dog's Head region ("Cabeça do Cachorro") on Brazil's border with Columbia. It will also serve to train joint command, control and communication procedures in the Amazon region. (AB)