MOSCOW, November 9 (RIA Novosti) — Brazil plans to hold military exercises in the Amazon aimed at preparing soldiers to protect the region from foreign invasion, New York Times reports.
The drills, titled Operation Machifaro 2014, will take place in the region’s largest city of Manaus, as well as Barcelos, Santa Isabel do Rio Negro and Caracaraí on November 10 – 14, according to a statement published by Brazil’s Ministry of Defense. 550 Brazilian servicemen will participate in the drills.
Brazil considers protecting the Amazon, rich in natural resources, as its top priority. “The operation will provide ways for optimizing a strategy of resistance in the region,” said General Guilherme Cals Theophilo Gaspar de Oliveira, chief of Brazil’s Amazon Military Command, as quoted by the New York Times.
No country has been singled out as a potential threat to Brazil. However, some Brazilian military strategists have pointed to the United States as a potential threat, the newspaper notes. Relations between the two countries were overshadowed in 2013 following revelations that the US NSA spied on Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff; but presently relations remain cordial.
The military drills, known previously as Operation Ajuricada, have been named after the Machifaro tribes that tried to protect the Amazon from the Spaniards in the 16th century.