Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro Blames Indigenous Tribes For Amazon Fires
President Jair Bolsonaro is blaming the indigenous community for the fires that raged in the Amazon. The fires set off international outrage as the rainforest faced unprecedented destruction by out of control fires. President Bolsonaro went against the rest of the international community during a speech to the U.N.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro wants the United Nations to know that indigenous people were responsible for the Amazon fires.
In a remote session opening the U.N. General Assembly, President Bolsonaro spoke at length about the indigenous communities starting the fires. He also used the speech to speak out against the criticism his administration is receiving over his environmental policies and his response to Covid. Brazil is currently the second most infected country in the world with the second highest death rate.
The Amazon has experienced increased fires since President Bolsonaro took office.
For the first seven months of 2020, 13,000 sq. km. (5,019 sq. miles) of the Brazilian rainforest have burned. This year saw the second-highest level of fires on a global scale with fires raging across the Amazon, Australia, and the West Coast of the U.S.
President Bolsonaro openly contradicted expert findings to fit his narrative.
President Bolsonaro claims that the humidity of the forest contains the fires. According to President Bolsonaro’s speech, fires in the Amazon only happen in certain areas because of how well the humidity can keep the fires in check.
“The fires practically occur in the same places, on the east side of the forest, where peasants and Indians burn their fields in already deforested areas,” Bolsonaro said.
President Bolsonaro’s speech touches on the environmental record his administration is known for.
The Bolsonaro administration has made dismantling environmental and indigenous rights since taking power. The administration has worked to limit the amount of land available to indigenous people and to open up Amazonian rainforest to miners, loggers, farmers, developers, and other uses that are damaging and contributing to the fires. Deforestation by these industries are largely to blame for the out-of-control wildfires that burned for a very long time in the Brazilian Amazon.
Activists are getting ready to fight for the indigenous community and the rainforest.
“We must denounce this political catastrophe that destroys the environment and our future,” Sonia Guajajara, head of Brazil’s main Indigenous umbrella organization, to NBC News.
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