Brazil has the largest defense budget in South America and is a key buyer of Israeli weapons and military technology. During the period 2010-2019, Brazil ranked 7th in terms of receipt of Israel weapons exports, that included fighter jets, drones and missiles. Also military and security training was supplied to Brazil by Israel.
Israel – Brazil Relations
Brazil was one of the first countries to recognize the State of Israel, on 7 February 1949. During the military dictatorship, which stayed in place in Brazil from 1964 to 1985, the ties between the two countries stayed strong.972Mag : Israels cozy ties with Brazils Military Dictatorship
Israel is the only country outside of South America to have signed (in 2007) a Free Trade Agreement with the MERCOSUL bloc, which Brazil is part of. Elfinancierocr : Israel ampliará comercio con América Latina ante crisis de la UE
Brazil’s current president, Bolsonaro, a sympathizer of the former dictatorship, is strongly connected to Netanyahu, and has been talking about moving the Brazilian embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Netanyahu has visited Brazil for Bolsonaro’s election ceremony, in 2018, and Bolsonaro has visited Israel the year after in 2019.calcalistech : Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro Arrives in Israel
Israel and Brazil signed agreements in fields of energy, science, technology, innovation, civil aviation and trade promotion and investments.cooperacaointernacional : BRAZIL-ISRAEL COOPERATION
*entire deal list is available for download on the sidebar.
Brazil has the largest defense budget in South America. While Brazil’s purchase of military equipment and services from Israel were limited during the 1980s and 1990s, these purchases have become a significant part of the trading relationship. During the period 2010-2019, Brazil ranked 7th in terms of receipt of Israel weapons exports.Sipri Arms Trade Database Brazil is a key buyer of Israeli weapons and military technology. In addition to the hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts signed with Israeli manufacturer Elbit since 2000, the Brazilian Air Force signed a $90 million, five-year lease for 12 Kfir aircraft, and Rafael-manufactured Derby missiles were purchased in 2006. Israel Aerospace Industries signed a $350 million contract in November 2009 to supply drones to the Brazilian police – the largest such deal ever between Israel and Brazil.Haaretz 2009 : Brazil to Buy $350m Worth of Drones From Israel
Moreover, the relationship now includes joint ventures for the manufacture of military equipment & systems, While some of these are used for military purposes, a substantial part is used for police and security operations, ostensibly for drug-interdiction, but also for example for the 2016 Olympics. The Israeli security company ISDS was supposed to take care of security during the OlympicsGlobes : ISDS to manage security at Rio Olympics, but the contract was canceled after pressure from human rights groups.Brazil cancels $2b contract for 2016 Olympics
Brazil regularly hosts the LAAD Defense and Security international fair, the biggest weapons fair in Latin America and an entry point for Israeli military industry to all Latin American countries. Israeli companies participate regularly in the arms fair and sign different deals there.Medium Omega research foundation : LAAD Defence and Security Fair
After Bolsonaro’s election, new trade deals, including defense deals, between Israel and Brazil were discussed and signed, for example the sale of new drones, including drones with facial recognition tools.Haaretz : Israel, Bolsonaro Discuss Sale of Drones With Facial Recognition, Senior Diplomatic Source Says
Bolsonaro’s official visit in 2019 was conducted together with Brazil’s military chief of staff and Brazil’s police chief of staff. Among others they met israeli military and police officials: head of police, head of border police, head of commando police unit and more. Israeli forces also demonstrated new technologies and arms to the Brazil delegation.Israel offers joint training for Brazilian and Israeli commando units
In 2021 Brazil ordered 100 units of Spike-LR Anti-Tank guided missiles systems from Rafael under a $19m contract.Army Recognition : Brazil orders Spike LR missiles In March 2022 Brazilian Navy completed the modernization of seven Skyhaw fighter jets. They were equipped with systems by Elta and Elbit.Israel Defense : Brazilian navy completes Skyhawk modernization program
In 2017 the Israeli Cyber Companies Consortium (IC3) established a National Cyber Centre in Brazil. The contract was worth tens of millions of dollars. The Consortim includes companies as: IAI/ELTA, Check Point, Cognyte (Verint), Bynet, ECI, CyberX, ClearSky, BGProtect, CyberArk, CySource and Safebreach.Defesanet ; Israeli cyber companies Consortium to establish national cyber center in Brazil
In 2019 IAI’s ELTA Systems and the Brazilian National Confederatioon of Industries (CNI) signed a collaboration deal on the establishment of a cyber defense academy in Brazil. ELTA is the leader of the Israeli Cyber Companies Consortium (IC3) and the Israeli Aviation Cyber Companies Consortium (IAC3), both of which were established under the auspices of the Israeli Ministry of Economy.Israel Defense : IAC3
In March 2022 Brazilian Armed Forces signed a deal with Israeli Cybersecurity Firm CySource to supervise the Brazilian electoral process.Brasil Wire : BAF sign Deal with Israeli Cybersecurity Firm
Cellebrite sold UFED devices to Brazilian Federal and national police forces.Rm Coe : EU/COE Joint Project on Regional Cooperation against Cybercrime As to reports, their technologies are used among others on migration routs in Brazil for prevention of illegal migration.Cellebrite and The Exodus Road Continue Combatting Human Trafficking in Brazil
In 2020 the Israeli company Juganu installed upgraded lighting system on the Friendship Bridge that spans the border between the Brazilian city of Foz de Iguaçu and the Paraguayan city of Ciudad del Este. The lighting system developed in partnership with the Israeli company Corsight AI, incorporates sensors and cameras that wirelessly and automatically feed facial recognition and license plate information based on autonomous AI to border officials.EinNews : Juganu’s Smart Lighting System Transforms Main Border Crossing Between Brazil and ParaguayBiometric Update – Olympics
Usage of Israeli Arms
Drones – Israeli drones are regularly used by Brazil to monitor its borders, especially the northern one with Venezuela, and the western one with Bolivia and Paraguay. AEL International Ltd., a Brazilian subsidiary of Israel Elbit, provides the electro-optical observation and surveillance systems for the SISFRON border security program.Defense Update : Israeli Surveillance Systems for Brazil’s SISFRON
After huge security investments in preparation for the 2014 Football World Cup and the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Israeli drones were also used during those events to monitor crowds and guarantee security.splinternews : The scary history and future of Brazil’s booming drone market
Heron 1 – Brazil has developed “Caçador”, a home-produced UAV, based on the operational experience with IAI’s Heron 1, used in Brazil since 2010. 15 IAI Heron drones are currently operated jointly by the Brazilian Air Force and the Brazilian police.Defense Update : Brazil IAI
UFED – Cellebrite’s UFED technology is in use by Brazilian Federal Police Computer Forensic Unit.Rm Coe : EU/COE Joint Project on Regional Cooperation against Cybercrime . Is also used by Brazilian national police forces in cooperation with the company “The Exodus Road” on migration routs.Cellebrite and The Exodus Road Continue Combatting Human Trafficking in Brazil
Uzi – Used by SOF (Special Operation Forces).
Tavor – Used by Border Brigade and SOF.
LORIS Night Vision Device – Used by Brazilian Armed Forces
Human Rights Violations
The list of human rights problems in Brazil is long. Some police officers kill unlawfully, torture detainees, and mistreat children in conflict with the law. Many Brazilian prisons are severely overcrowded, and the lack of adequate state control leaves inmates vulnerable to violence, extortion, and recruitment by gangs. Other human rights problems include violence against women, killings of journalists and bloggers because of their work, and violence against rural activists and indigenous people involved in conflicts over land. Perpetrators of abuses during the military rule of 1964 to 1985 continue to be shielded from justice by an amnesty law passed by the military regime.
Since the election of President Bolsonaro in 2018 things have gotten worse when it comes to human rights: the president has openly shown racism, hate against women, gay and trans people, support for violence, disregard for Indigenous people’s right. His openly anti-human rights rhetoric was put into practice through administrative and legislative measures by federal and state governments.
The year 2019 also saw an increase in the number of killings by police on active duty; severe environmental crises in the Amazon disproportionately affecting Indigenous peoples, Quilombolas and other local traditional communities; attempts to curtail the activities of civil society organizations; and threats against and killings of human rights defenders. The authorities failed to provide an adequate response to a whole range of human rights violations.HRW World Report 2020 Amnesty Report Brazil