Bolsonaro Uses the Quarantine to Destroy the Environment

Bolsonaros program eases restrictions and dismantles environmental legislation

Renê Luiz de Oliveira and Hugo Ferreira Netto Loss were doing their jobs as civil servants. The Ibama agency inspectors launched a campaign on April 4 in southern Pará to prevent the coronavirus pandemic from advancing into indigenous lands, which were recording its first Covid-19 deaths and suffering from the destruction of forests caused by illegal miners and loggers.

Oliveira and Loss led the operations to combat environmental crimes. They expelled the prospectors and loggers and destroyed the machinery used by the invaders in the Araweté Indigenous Lands (of the Araweté people and isolated indigenous people of the Igarapé Bom Jardim), Apyterewa (of the Parakanã) and Bacajá Trench (of the Kayapós and Xikrin), where 1,700 indigenous people live.

Porto Velho, in Rondônia. (Foto: Bruno Rocha /Fotoarena/Folhapress) - Fotoarena/Folhapress

The efficiency of these civil servants in combating illegal mining, criminal deforestation, animal trafficking, and other environmental crimes took their toll. On April 30, the Minister of (destruction) of the Environment, Ricardo Salles, fired these civil servants, who were only fulfilling their obligation.

Then, on May 6, President Jair Bolsonaro signed Decree 10.341 / 2020, stating that “federal agencies and public entities for environmental protection will be coordinated by the Commandos, allocated by the Minister of State for Defense, responsible for the operation. In practice, environmental inspection throughout the Legal Amazon has come under the command of the army. Another presidential decree prohibits the destruction of the machinery used by miners and illegal loggers.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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