Pubdate: Sat, 29 May 1999
Source: Associated Press
Copyright: 1999 Associated Press


RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AP)   Brazil's top drug authority says Colombian
cartels are using native people in the Amazon jungle to transport drugs, a
newspaper reported Saturday.

Anti-drug Secretary Walter Maierovitch said Indians carry drugs from Brazil
to refineries in Colombia, the Jornal do Brasil newspaper said. 

Maierovitch spoke at a meeting this week between Brazilian and Colombian
authorities to discuss drug-trafficking in the Amazon, the newspaper said.

Officials drew up a report that will be the basis for an agreement on
combatting trafficking to be signed in July. Peru also will be asked to
sign. The report called Brazil's border region lawless, blaming a failure by
authorities to promote economic and social development, the daily said.

Brazil is installing a $1.2 billion Amazon Surveillance System, which uses
radar and aircraft to combat trafficking, as well as forest burning and
illegal gold mining.

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