This year, the Brazilian Navy was the organizer of the 24th Inter-American Naval Conference (CNI), which took place in Rio de Janeiro between September 11 and 17. The event, considered the most important forum for debate and exchange among the naval forces of the Americas, brought together the navies of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, the United States, and Venezuela. Diálogo spoke to the Commandant-General of the Brazilian Navy, Adm. Julio Soares de Moura Neto, regarding the fight against drug trafficking, interaction among the navies of the region, and the re-equipment of the Brazilian Navy. Diálogo – At a conference like this one, are there also discussions of the possibility of an attack among the countries of the region, or is this topic part of the past, and only the so-called new threats, like drug trafficking, are being discussed? Admiral Moura Neto – Currently, there is no risk for conflict among the countries of the region, especially in South America. Diálogo – Can you comment on the new Supplementary Law that expands the navy’s powers in Brazil? Admiral Moura Neto – The drug traffickers are increasingly present on the ocean and the rivers, and the Navy has to be in the fight. With the recently signed Supplementary Law 106, the Brazilian Navy was given police powers precisely to be able to fight illegal trafficking together with other national bodies, such as the Federal Police and other police forces. The Navy is concerned about this and about the country’s other riches. We do this through naval patrols and through the permanent presence of Navy ships patrolling our waters. Diálogo – Is there anything similar in South America to the US Joint Interagency Taskforce under the Southern Command, located in southern Florida, in Key West, which is specialized in the fight against drug trafficking? Admiral Moura Neto – We do not have anything similar to the JIATF South, but we are working with the Federal Police to establish contact with this and other international bodies. We plan on communicating with them to exchange information, which is essential for the fight against drug trafficking. The main thing is to receive information and reports. It is impossible to stop all the ships that navigate on a daily basis in international waters. For example, in Brazil, there are five hundred freighters navigating our waters daily. During a symposium about the fight against drug trafficking in the Americas, in 2008, statistics were presented showing that 80% of the world’s drug traffic navigates the oceans, and only 6% of this total is detected. Confronting this threat is something very difficult and complicated for governments. Therefore, the basis for everything must be information exchange. Diálogo – There is growing concern, especially in Central America, about the increase in the number of semi-submersible vessels transporting illegal drugs. Have there been any seizures of vessels of this kind in Brazil? And if not, what is the country doing to prevent the transport of illegal drugs by this means from reaching the country? Admiral Moura Neto – To our knowledge, there are no such vessels circulating in Brazilian waters. I believe it is because they are more commonly used to transport drugs from Central America to Mexico and to the United States, crossing the Caribbean region. In the case of Brazil, our ocean is used as a trafficking route to Europe and Africa; in other words, these vessels cannot endure such a long trip. The conditions on these semi-submersibles used in drug trafficking are horrible. Trips of over two or three days in length cannot be made in one of these vessels. There’s also the problem that these semi-submersibles must be supported by vessels on the surface, making it even harder for the drug traffickers on long routes. Diálogo – For years Brazil has had plans to build a nuclear submarine. Until this happens, what is the Brazilian Navy doing to modernize? Admiral Moura Neto – We are building no less than twenty-seven 500-ton patrol ships (more than double the current number) and five super patrol ships weighing from 1,500 to 1,800 tons, with the specific goal of patrolling the pre-salt offshore oil fields, together with the construction of a new submarine larger than the current five, which will be modernized over six years. But the Navy’s plans do not end there. Among our priorities are also the modernization of our four Inhaúma-class corvettes, the construction of three escort ships the size of a frigate of over 4,000 tons, and the modernization of the “São Paulo” aircraft carrier (already in process) and of its Sky Hawk A-4 airplanes. The resources for the entire program amount to 6 billion dollars over seven years. Everything will be built in national dockyards. The entire construction will take place in Brazil. By Dialogo November 15, 2010 This site has a very good reception, from now on, I will be a regular follower. Interesting, informative and timely material. Congratulations! If it is for the good of mankind, go for it Admiral Julio Suares. hi, and i was read this article and the he’s right an i agree about it .tha’s all Very good reporting of the interview. Good to know that we are being protected everywhere. Congratulations to the team! I READ IT AND I THOUGHT IT IS VERY INTERESTING. I HAVE A QUESTION FOR THE COMMANDER: IS HE AWARE OF THE PERSONNEL IN CHARGE OF THE AIRPLANES MODERNIZATION SITUATION AT THE CITY OF ARARAQUARA, IN THE STATE OF SÃƒO PAULO (SP)? WE LIVE HERE WITHOUT HOUSING AID, PAYING EXTREMELY HIGH RENTS AND ALSO WITHOUT ANY MEDICAL ASSISTANCE; I HOPE SOMEONE TAKES APPROPRIATE ACTION REGARDING THIS SITUATION, BECAUSE EVERYDAY IS BECOMING HARDER TO LIVE UNDER THESE CONDITIONS AND ONLY LIVING BY APPEARANCES. I read the article and I congratulate Admiral Moura Neto foi his performance inside the Brazilian Navy General Command. I had the opportunity to meet him at the Alpha Area, in the military residential area in Santa Maria â€“ Brasilia, DF. In that occasion, he heard the militaryâ€™s wives who lived in the area new requests and vindications. He promised to find immediate solutions to solve the presented difficulties. School for children â€“ nursery and pre-school â€“ half and full time inside the residential area, so the wives could have peace of mind to go work, help the familyâ€™s budget and be confident that their children would be protected and educationally prepared for a promising future. He also heard the request to increase and improve the bus fleet. If possible to include air conditioning on the vehicles, considering the cityâ€™s climate conditions, so the buses would allow the residents to go back and forth comfortably and with a shorter waiting period. There were two buses, one was a school bus. I realized that I was in front of a person who is a great listener, looks after people and thinks about others with deep respect, who dedicates himself to improve the daily lives of the military wives whose family lives suddenly change due to their husbandsâ€™ profession. Thank you so much, Admiral Julio Soares de Moura Neto. Congratulations, I am sure that soon I will be back to Alpha Area and I shall see the promises you made accomplished. I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW HOW CAN I DENOUNCE THE 9th DISTRICT COMMAND. IT NEGLECTS TO LODGE THE MILITARY WHO COME TO TOWN TO SERVE THE NAVY. THESE MILITARY ALMOST DONâ€™T EARN ENOUGH TO EAT, BECAUSE A SOLDIERâ€™S WAGE IS BARELY ENOUGH TO PAY A R$700 RENT.