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Brazil: environmental devastation

Brazil: environmental devastation

From Rio de Janeiro

It is never too much to remember that in at least one point the far-right Jair Bolsonaro has been fully fulfilling his electoral campaign promises in 2018: he said that Before thinking about the type of country he wanted to build, it was necessary to destroy what existed.

He has been doing it with radical dedication and on a full-time basis. Sometimes it fails, thanks to the intervention ofThe Federal Supreme Court, which prevents some of your projects. That is why Bolsonaro lives in permanent conflict with the members of the Supreme Court of Justice, accusing them of not respecting the independence between the powers.


public education, with emphasis on higher courses, is degraded, arts and culture suffer daily devastation, the economy sail towards the shipwreck, the industry it vigorously lost market share, exports are basically concentrated in the countryside. Despite all the efforts of the government, public health manages to survive, largely thanks to the measures of the Federal Supreme Court. And rowing against the furious tide, the vast majority of Brazilians sought and seek to become immunized against the expansion of Covid-19 variants.

In one aspect, however, Bolsonaro’s promise to destroy everything is rigorously fulfilled: the environment.


The idea circulates with ever more palpable force among lucid Brazilians that everything that Bolsonaro devastates will ever be recovered, except the environment. From education to economics, from industry to foreign policy, everything is recoverable. Shattered nature, no.

In a permanent electoral campaign since the first day as Brazilian president, Bolsonaro constantly renews their links with rural producers and forest devastators who oppose environmental protection measures.

Recently, and confirming his line of action, Bolsonaro celebrated that his government reduced by 80 percent the number of infractions applied to those who attack the environment. And he boasted of having liquidated, fulfilling an electoral promise, “the fine industry.”

With this, it contributed effectively to the brutal increase in illegal mining in the Amazon region and neighboring areas. One of the most immediate results of this action is the increasing mercury contamination of water and fish consumed by inhabitants of the villages in the affected region.

depredated amazon

In 2021, the devastation in the Amazon region grew 29 percent compared to 2020, and will continue to advance this election year. Impunity ensures the support that a significant part of the businessmen of the countryside grant to Bolsonaro, in addition to illegal miners and invaders of public lands or areas of indigenous reserves.

A very clear example of the environmental policy defended by the far-right is the freezing of billions of dollars from the Amazon Fund, created with resources offered by Germany and mainly Norway.

That fund, which had a deliberative council made up of representatives of civil society and the government, was already dissolved in the first months of Bolsonaro in office, and was never taken up again.

Former Environment Minister Ricardo Salle, who resigned after being denounced by United States authorities for illegal export of wood extracted irregularly, said that he would only create another council if the final word for the application of resources fell to the government. The donors objected and everything was up in the air.

cruel and relentless

The cruel and unremitting devastation is the greatest feat of a government that came to destroy. The global image of Brazil, harshly corroded since the arrival of Bolsonaro to the presidency, is the focus of fierce criticism focused on the environmental issue. That image may, in some way, be quickly recovered by the government that emerges victorious at the polls in October.

But the recovery of the environment will take much, much longer, if it ever happens. will that be the main legacy of the worst president in the history of my poor country.




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