Amazon Deforestation in July Increased 278% over Same Period in 2018

Publication of INPE has irritated the Bolsonaro government

Phillippe Watanabe
São Paulo

Deforestation in the Amazon in July this year increased by 278% over the same month last year according to data from Brazil's National Institute for Space Research (Inpe).

In June, data revealed an 88% increase in deforestation compared to June 2018.

Image from Deter, in 2019 - Reprodução

Data showing the growth of destruction in the Amazon ignited a crisis between Inpe and President Jair Bolsonaro (PSL), culminating in the dismissal, last Friday, of the institute's director, Ricardo Galvão.

Bolsonaro even said that Galvão could be "at the service of some NGO." Galvão defended the institute's deforestation data and responded to Bolsonaro's personal attacks: "He [Bolsonaro] behaves as if he were in a tavern," said Galvão on July 20.

The Bolsonaro government continued to attack Inpe's data. Ricardo Salles, Minister of the Environment, and Marcos Pontes, Minister of Science and Technology, spoke against the deforestation data produced by Inpe.

On Monday, Bolsonaro said "bad Brazilians" released "lying numbers" about deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.

A member of the military, Darcton Policarpo Damião, was announced as the interim director of Inpe on Monday.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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