The Brazilian military announced on Tuesday that it will increase troops on the
country’s border with Colombia amid concerns over the expansion of U.S.
troops in Colombia.
General Luiz Carlos Gomes Mattos, commander of the Brazilian’s armed forces in the Amazon, told reporters he was “concerned” about the deal. “Anything that happens next to our borders is a concern, even if we have an excellent relationship [with Colombia].
According to the general, the Amazon military bases are equipped and prepared to prevent a possible spillover of Colombia’s internal conflict.
“If the conflict enters our territory, [if there are] military actions in our territory, we have no other choice. But as long as this is not happening, we are vigilant at the border,” Mattos said.
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has previously said that he respects Colombia’s sovereignty and the country’s decision
to allow the U.S. to use Colombian military bases as long as the
counter-narcotics operations are limited to the Colombian territory,
even though he dislikes the idea of an expansion of U.S. troops in
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets with Colombian Foreign
Minister Jaime Bermudez on Tuesday to discuss the recently completed military cooperation deal and its potential impact in South America.