After Saying that He Would Stop Burning Illegal Mining Machines, Head of Ibama Is Fired

Military Police Colonel had been appointed on the 2nd

Gustavo Uribe Rubens Valente

The Jair Bolsonaro government dismissed on Tuesday afternoon (10) the new regional superintendent of Ibama (Brazilian Institute of Environment) in Pará, the military police colonel Evandro Cunha dos Santos.

The dismissal, signed by Environment Minister Ricardo Salles, will be published in Wednesday's edition (11) of the Official Gazette. The public servant was dismissed for making the statement without the backing of the federal government.

Evandro Cunha dos Santos in Altamira (PA) - Reprodução

At a public hearing on Monday, he said he was ordered to stop the burning of illegal gold mining vehicles that are caught by federal law enforcement committing environmental crimes in the Amazon.

For Ibama inspectors, Santos' speech put at risk officials of the agency currently operating in the municipality of Altamira, the leading site of deforestation and fire outbreaks in the country.

Since day 27, the environmental agency embargoed almost 20 thousand hectares there and destroyed the equipment of environmental violators, mainly in the Ituna / Itatá Indigenous Land.

Santos' statements caused a strong reaction in  Ibama in Brasilia.

On Tuesday (10), the general coordination of environmental inspection sent a letter to the Environmental Protection Directorate of the agency itself to warn that the demonstration "intensified the mood and increased the risks against agents in the Altamira region".

Ibama's coordination also informed in its letter that the destruction of equipment used in environmental crimes comes from a 2008 decree.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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