Greenpeace said Thursday that the statements in which the Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, called the environmental organization “crap” and “garbage”, came as a compliment, because it came from someone interested in destroying the environment.
“Throughout history, our critical position to those who promote environmental destruction has already caused many unbalanced reactions of the most different characters. We are only facing another one. In these cases, the discomfort of those who destroy the environment sounds like praise, “said the international organization in a statement in which it responded to the ruler.
Greenpeace said he regretted that a president of the Republic presents “such an inadequate position for the position he occupies.”
The ultra-rightist leader, whose environmental policy is permanently criticized by environmentalists, has already attacked Greenpeace and all environmental organizations on other occasions.
Bolsonaro, who came to hold environmental groups responsible for the fires that affected the Amazon last year, returned to the charge against Greenpeace when he was questioned Thursday about the organization’s criticism of the changes introduced this week in the National Council of the Legal Amazon.
“Who is Greenpeace? Who is that crap called Greenpeace? That is rubbish. Ask another question,” said the head of state when asked about a note in which the environmental group said the new National Council of the Amazon Legal “has no plans, goals or budget.”
In his response to the head of state, Greenpeace recalled that he has almost half a century of life and acts in 55 countries, including Brazil, where he defends the environment 28 years ago and has collaborated with the authorities denouncing environmental crimes.
“In Brazil, we have criticized and fought the policies of the Government (of Bolsonaro) that caused increased deforestation and dismantling of the inspection bodies, as well as we positioned ourselves against the absurd attacks on the rights of indigenous peoples,” said the organization.
The group said that it is a non-profit organization, “with financial and political independence”, and that it will continue “working tirelessly for the defense of the environment, democracy and the rights of populations, regardless of who irritates.”
The controversy arose after Bolsonaro transferred control of the Council of the Amazon from the Ministry of Environment to the Vice Presidency of the Republic, whose head, General of the Reserve Hamilton Mourao, entrusted him with actions for protection and sustainable development. of the largest tropical forest on the planet.
For Greenpeace, the new council, without civil representatives, “or plans, goals or budget”, only seeks to deceive public opinion and international investors, since it will not end the “anti-environmental policy” of the Bolsonaro Government “nor fight deforestation or environmental crimes. “
Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon jumped 85% last year, from 4,219.3 square kilometers in 2018 to 9,165.6 square kilometers in 2019, its highest level since 2016, according to satellite measurements from the state National Research Institute Space (INPE).
This growth was attributed by environmentalists to the measures of flexibility of control and the anti-environmental rhetoric of Bolsonaro, which defends the economic exploitation of the Amazon and the end of the demarcation of new indigenous reserves.
Despite criticism, the head of state presented this week for the consideration of Congress a bill to allow mining, oil exploitation and hydroelectric construction in indigenous reserves.
“In the last year we attended a planned clearing of environmental protection and control bodies, which resulted in an increase in deforestation, and in the forest fire and the image of Brazil nationally and internationally,” according to Greenpeace.