Attorney General Requests to Investigate The Amazon Fund

Investigation is based on Ricardo Salles' claims of irregularities in the fund

FABIANO MAISONNAVE
Manaus

The Federal Public Prosecutor's Office (MPF) in Amazonas has requested to investigate alleged irregularities committed in projects financed by the Amazon Fund.

In a decree signed on Monday (8), prosecutor Leonardo de Faria Galiano justified the opening of the inquiry, citing statements by Environment Minister Ricardo Salles during a press conference on May 17.

At the time, the minister said that there was no evidence that the Amazon Fund contributes to the reduction of deforestation.

Environment Minister Ricardo Salles (Foto: Bruno Santos/ Folhapress) - Folhapress

Salles also mentioned evidence of irregularities in contracts with NGOs, such as high percentage of contracts without bidding and excessive expenses with payroll, but he did not go into details.

MPF asked the Ministry of the Environment to send the information and documents that prove Salle's points in the May interview.

Based in Manaus, Galiano is the person in charge of MPF for Operation Arquimedes, which, together with PF and Ibama, dismantled a scheme to sell illegal timber. Among the prisoners are former Ibama superintendents in the Amazon and Acre.

According to the prosecutor, who will travel on Saturday (13) to the United States, where he will negotiate binational cooperation in the fight against smuggling of wood, the international community should be more effective in combating this crime.

The only donor countries of the fund are Norway and Germany, which together contribute 93.8% and 5.7% of the fund, have declared that they are satisfied with the performance and supervision of the project, started 11 years ago, in the government Lula (PT).

Both countries are threatening to end their participation if President Jair Bolsonaro does not maintain the tripartite steering committee between the federal government, state governments, and civil society, which has recently been phased out. 

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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