BRASILIA, Brazil — U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) assisted the Brazilian Department of Federal Police (DPF) in executing Operation "Proteja Brasil," or "Protect Brazil," aimed at combating online child pornography. Approximately 200 federal police officers executed 40 search warrants in 14 states across Brazil as part of the operation.
The operation was launched by the Online Child Pornography and Hatred Crimes Unit and is part of a series of actions taken to prevent online child pornography and child sex exploitation in Brazil. According to Brazilian authorities, at least six individuals were arrested for the possession of child pornography and 100 individuals were arrested for suspicion of child pornography during the last three operations launched by the DPF. From January 2013 to May 2014, DPF opened 1,441 cases investigating child pornography in Brazil.
Some of the warrants executed during this operation were the direct result of leads provided by HSI Brasilia and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC). In 2010, HSI Brasilia and NCMEC established a secure direct network connection directly to the DPF that allowed them secure access to NCMEC's reporting system. This streamlined the transfer and sharing of investigative leads with DPF and assisted them in their efforts to combat the sexual exploitation of children and child pornography. "Protect Brazil Week" is promoted by the Brazilian Human Rights Secretariat and the Ministry of Tourism, aimed to protect children and adolescents against all kinds of sexual violence.
Through ICE's Office of International Affairs and the State Department, HSI has 67 attaché offices in 48 countries around the world. HSI special agents work closely with foreign law enforcement agencies, and through a robust network of specialized, vetted units known as Transnational Criminal Investigative Units. Additionally, HSI brings personnel from host countries to the United States to train at the Department of Homeland Security Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Glynco, Georgia.