Amazon Task Force Registers US$ 134 million in Environmental Damage

Task force also found that gangs are linked to the grid and environmental corruption

São Paulo

The Amazon Task Force registered, in just under two years of activity, more than R$ 580 million (US$ 134 million) in documented environmental damage in the Amazon. Additionally, 84 people have been indicted for environmental crimes, and the task force identified gangs linked to land grabbing and corruption in an environmental agency and illegal mining.

The task force, which started in August 2018 and had an initial action forecast of 18 months, will be extended by one year, according to a decree published in the Federal Official Gazette last Friday (14) and signed by the attorney general General of the Republic, Augusto Aras.

Deforestation in Acre (FOTO: MapBiomas Alerta e Plane/Divulgação) - MapBiomas Alerta e Plane

The group's objective is to facilitate dialogue between public prosecutors working in the environmental area and entities such as Ibama, the Federal Police and the Army, and also to gain efficiency, considering that crimes against the environment transcend the Amazon area.

"We work criminally against those who are big. There is no point in punishing the person who is very poor and who is doing it at the behest of someone", said Ana Carolina Haliuc Bragança, federal prosecutor and coordinator of the Amazon Task Force. She said that deforestation in the Amazon requires and moves large sums of money, and mainly takes place on medium and large properties.

Members of the Bolsonaro government, such as Environment Minister Ricardo Salles and, more recently, Economy Minister Paulo Guedes, often associate, without presenting data, deforestation with poverty in the Amazon region.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

Read the article in the original language