August 9, 2006. In the next few days, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva will analyse a request from the Ministry of Defense to allow the entry into the country of thirty Paraguayan soldiers.
According to what Correio has found out, they will be trained for free by the Brazilian Army in law and order maintenance tactics, for the purpose of joining the next contingent of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). It is the first time that the Armed Forces are training soldiers from other countries to serve as Blue Helmets. Next in line are the Bolivians.
A high-level source in Defense reported that a team of Brazilian military is going to Paraguay at the end of September to convey the first instructions for the peacekeeping mission. Next, it will be the turn of the Paraguayans to come to Brazil. They will stay at the Campo Grande military base, in Mato Grosso do Sul. The initiative is part of a new policy that seeks to give priority to participation of Latin Americans in Minustah, currently made up of personnel from nineteen countries and whose military command is exercised by General Jose Elito Siqueira.
It is not a matter of deliberate segregation but of recognizing difficulties in communications with the troops who use the English language. Before landing in Haiti, the Brazilian soldiers study the basics of Creole, the local dialect. Few have a knowledge of English. Besides that, there is a perception in the military leadership in Brasilia that the Haitians show greater friendliness and affinity with the Latin Americans.
MINUSTAH is currently composed of more than 6,300 soldiers, of whom 1,200 are Brazilian. The sixth contingent, made up of troops from the Centre-West region, leaves on November 13. Rotation of troops will occur in December.