Overview: Brazil and the United States maintained strong counterterrorism cooperation in 2020, building on collaborative efforts underway since the 2016 Summer Olympics. The Brazilian Federal Police (PF), Brazil’s lead counterterrorism agency, worked closely with the United States’ and other nations’ law enforcement entities to assess and mitigate potential terrorist threats. The Brazilian government supported CT activities through third-country technical assistance to control sensitive technologies and investigate fraudulent travel documents.
2020 Terrorist Incidents: There were no reported terrorist incidents in Brazil in 2020.
Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security: There were no major changes to counterterrorism legislation in 2020.
On February 6, Carlos García Juliá was extradited to Spain after being convicted of participating in a 1977 terrorist attack in Madrid and imprisoned in Brazil since December 2018. A former member of the far-right group Fuerza Nueva, García Juliá was convicted in Spain in 1980 as one of the authors of a terrorist action targeting a local Communist Party leader in which three labor lawyers, a law student, and an administrative official were killed. García Juliá, who had been a fugitive from Spanish justice since the early 1990s, was arrested in 2018 in São Paulo, where he lived under a fraudulent Venezuelan identity and worked as an Uber driver.
In 2019 the Brazilian Ministry of Justice and Public Security and the FBI completed an information-sharing arrangement that creates a framework for Brazil to adopt a U.S.-standard biometrics collection system. The joint biometrics program’s mission is to counter identity fraud-based travel in São Paulo’s Guarulhos International Airport and in the Tri-Border Area (TBA) of Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay, with training and the program launch scheduled to take place in 2021.
Countering the Financing of Terrorism: Brazil is a member of FATF, as well as the GAFILAT, a FATF-style regional body. Its FIU, the Council for Financial Activities Control, is a member of the Egmont Group. Brazil made progress mitigating the shortcomings identified in its third-round FATF mutual evaluation report from 2010, and it continued work to address the remaining deficiencies ahead of its mutual evaluation scheduled for 2021.
On March 6, President Bolsonaro established the Working Group on the National Assessment of Money Laundering Risks, Financing of Terrorism, and Financing for the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction to meet FATF obligations.
Countering Violent Extremism: The Brazilian Congress and various government agencies, including PF and Ministry of Foreign Relations, organized or participated in conferences addressing international terrorism, with a particular emphasis on countering “online radicalization and preventing the use of the internet for terrorist purposes.”
International and Regional Cooperation: Brazil participated in regional counterterrorism fora, including the OAS-CICTE, the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) Joint Working Group on Counterterrorism, and the Southern Common Market’s working group on terrorism, notably the sub-working group on financial issues. Brazil actively coordinated law enforcement efforts with Argentina and Paraguay in the TBA by means of the Trilateral Tri-Border Area Command.
Brazil remained an active member of the Regional Security Mechanism (RSM) established in 2019. The RSM, which did not hold any meetings in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, aims to facilitate security coordination, including counterterrorism, between member states.