The president of Brazil, the extreme right Jair Bolsonaro, insisted this Thursday on linking the fires that advance in the Amazon and the Pantanal with the way of life of the indigenous population of the country.
“There is a regional culture. It is the Indian who sets fire to the harvest; he is the ‘caboclo’ (mestizo in white with indigenous), the small producer, “the president listed in his traditional broadcast on Thursdays through his social networks.
Bolsonaro, Captain of the Army Reserve, In this way he returned to defend himself from criticism from civil society and some European countries, who accuse their Government of not taking sufficient measures in the face of the fires unleashed in the Amazon and the Pantanal.
The head of state already spoke in the same vein during his speech last Tuesday in the debates of the United Nations General Assembly.
On that occasion he said that hethe sources of fires occur “practically, in the same places, in the eastern environment of the forest, where the ‘caboclo’ and the Indian burn “during the harvest” in search of their survival, in already deforested areas.
He also recalled today that “14% of the Brazilian territory” are protected indigenous reserves, a percentage, in his opinion, high for just “one million indigenous people” who live in the country.
Bolsonaro, leader of the Brazilian extreme right, affirmed again that Brazil is the country that “most preserves” the environment and denounced that he is the victim of a “criminal attack” and a campaign of “absurd disinformation” about his environmental management.
“It is an economic game. We have raw materials, we produce in the fields,” he added, later rejecting the label of “environmental terrorists.”
At his side was the Minister of the Environment, Ricardo Salles, who stated that “agriculture is the great defender” of nature and he asserted that it is a “great lie that the Amazon is being devastated.” However, the data points in the opposite direction.
In 2019, Bolsonaro’s first year in power, deforestation in the largest tropical forest on the planet jumped 85%, while fires increased 30% to close to 90,000.
In the first eight months of this year, deforestation fell a slight 4.94%, but it still remains at alarming levels that reach a total of 6,099 square kilometers of vegetation cover, according to alerts issued by satellites.
Regarding the fires in the Amazon, in June and July, in the middle of the dry season, jumped 19.6% and 28% compared to the same months of 2019, respectively, while in August they fell a slight 5%, although during one day of that month no data was recorded due to the failure of a satellite.
For its part, the Pantanal, the largest wetland on the planet that Brazil shares with Bolivia and Paraguay, is suffering the worst fires in recent decades.
According to the most recent official data, so far in September 6,048 fires have been reported in that ecosystem, which means the highest number of fires for a month since data began to be collected in 1998.