Pará Police Arrest Volunteer Firemen who Are Suspected of Causing Fires near Amazon

Defense denies charges; operation also carried out against NGO Saúde e Alegria

Salvador and Brasília

The Pará Civil Police suspects that four voluntary firemen helped cause a September fire in the area of Santarém, Pará (1,231 km from Belém) and served them with police warrants on Tuesday.

The police operation is focused on the Fogo do Sairé operation, which happened at the origin of the fires that hit the Alteração do Chãoregion in September this year.​

The fire consumed an area equivalent to 1,600 soccer fields and took four days to be stopped by brigade and fire brigade. - CAIO GUATELLI

According to the Civil Police, a two-month investigation found evidence that NGOs, including the Ground Alteration Fire Brigade, caused the fire.

One of the search warrants was fulfilled at the headquarters of Projeto Saúde e Alegria, one of the most recognized NGOs in the region, which has received several awards for its work in the Amazon. Police searched computers and documents.

Police also served a warrant and search and seizure at the headquarters of the Ground Change Fire Brigade and seized documents, computers, and fire-fighting equipment such as rafters, turbo blasts, and uniforms.

Responsible for the investigation of the Civil Police, the deputy José Humberto Melo Júnior stated that images, testimonials, and telephone interceptions point to the participation of four brigade members in the September fire. 

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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