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RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL  - On a late May evening, the arrival of military troops caught the attention of residents of Juara, in the state of Mato Grosso, where the forest gave way to one of the largest cattle herds in the country, and the inhabitants are more used to seeing steers than people.

Escorting the convoy, the commander of the 47th Infantry Battalion explained to the city's mayor that 32 men from the military base located in Coxim, Mato Grosso do Sul - 1,200 km away - had been deployed to bolster the then recently launched Verde Brasil 2 operation . . .

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