Photo Jonathan Blair

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Haiti as a training ground for Brazil's military

For quite a while, I have been hearing and reading that Brazil's peace mission in Haiti served, among other things, as a training ground for developing the military's skills at urban operations, with a view to using them for that "pacification" purposes in Brazilian cities' often unruly favelas. It sounded more like a plausible rumour than anything else, however.

Well, the cat is now out of the bag and, if you forgive the mixed metaphors, it is from the horse's mouth: Nelson Jobim, Brazil's Defense minister has now announced that for the first time on the country's territory, the military would be acting as a peacekeeping force in the recently-conquered favelas of the Complexo do Alemão and Vila Cruzeiro. And who will be in charge? General Fernando José Lavaquial, currently head of the Infantry Airborne Brigade and... former military commander of the UN Peacekeeping mission in Haiti.