Centre for International and Defence Policy

Centre for International and Defence Policy
Centre for International and Defence Policy

Border Security: Challenges and Risks

Tuesday, September 26, 2017  Time: 12-1:00 pm
Robert Sutherland Hall, room 448 



Despite the fact that Brazil has over 16,000 km of land limits, some of them shared with the primary cocaine producers on the planet, the country lacks a national border guard. At present, Brazilian prison organized gangs are taking control of the drugs and weapons market in Bolivia, Colombia, and Paraguay, crossing the borders with extreme violence and strong fire power.

The ten countries of which Brazil borders with in South America have entirely different characteristics from region to region. There are more than 16,000 km of shared geographical limits, and the Brazilian border control system has been generating discussions about the urgent need for modifications. According to the Brazilian border control model, the Federal Police exercises control over the ports of entry and in the zones that remain between such ports. Under Brazilian law, there is a safety zone of 150 km from the geographical limits where the Armed Forces have police power.

In Franca’s opinion, there is a gap to be filled, taking into account that the Brazilian Federal Police is not a militarized institution and, for instance, is more concerned in investigations about political corruption and complex situations involving organized crime within Brazil. Therefore, the creation of a border guard in Brazil could release the Federal Police to do what it does the best: criminal investigations.

Rafael Franca | September 2017



Rafael Franca

​Brazilian Federal Police





Rafael Franca is the director of a Brazilian Federal Police unit on the border with Uruguay, following almost eight years in the Brazilian Army. He has been with the Federal Police for fourteen years which has gifted him a great deal of practical experience in deal with issues of border security.  His research focuses on the need for a border guard service for countries with large territories, what their responsibilities might be, what their relations with other agencies (immigration, customs etc.) would look like, and other pertinent issues. In addition, he studies the relationships between border guards and the regular Armed Forces of a country, concentrating research on the correction of military employment in internal affairs.