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Environment Ministry creates special secretariat to fight deforestation headed by environmentalists

Environmental lawyer André Lima and Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Marina Silva

Credit: Personal Archive

24 Jan 23

Environment Ministry creates special secretariat to fight deforestation headed by environmentalists

André Lima, former Environment Secretary of the Federal District (DF) and senior consultant on socioenvironmental policy and law at the Democracy and Sustainability Institute (IDS), will be at the head of the Extraordinary Secretariat for Deforestation Control and Land Use Planning at the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MMA), led by Marina Silva (Rede). Lima was invited by Minister Marina Silva and by the MMA’s Executive Secretary, João Paulo Capobianco, to take on the Extraordinary Secretariat created in the beginning of January.

The secretariat to be headed by the environmental lawyer will be responsible for the Department of Environmental Territorial Planning and the Department of Policies to Control Deforestation and Burning, which will be headed by Raoni Rajão, professor of environmental management at the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG).

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Yanomami Genocide: Lula adminstration exonerates indigenous health managers and FUNAI head officers

Illegal gold diggers took over the Yanomami territory

Credit: Associação Hukerari Yanomami

24 Jan 23

Yanomami Genocide: Lula adminstration exonerates indigenous health managers and FUNAI head officers

At least 54 officers working in organs and instances related to health and assistance to the indigenous peoples were dismissed after the dimensions of the humanitarian crisis in the Yanomami Indigenous Land (TI) were revealed.

The federal government informed through an extra edition of the Official Gazette of the Union on Monday (23/01) the removal of 43 occupants of command positions of the National Foundation of Indigenous Peoples (FUNAI) and 11 regional coordinators of the Secretariat of Indigenous Health (SESAI) of the Ministry of Health. Among the dismissed employees are 13 military personnel, the coordinator of the East health district of Roraima – responsible for reinforcing the assistance to the Yanomami people in the state -, Aurisan Souza de Santana and the director of the Museum of the Indian, Giovani Souza Filho. Replacements for these positions will be announced in the coming days.

Federal Police points that 'Colombia' was behind the murders of Bruno Pereira and Dom Phillips

Police officer during the searches for Bruno and Dom

Credit: Cícero Pedrosa Neto/Amazônia Real

24 Jan 23

Federal Police points that ‘Colombia’ was behind the murders of Bruno Pereira and Dom Phillips

Rubén Dario da Silva Villar, known as “Colombia”, was the mastermind of the murders of Brazilian indigenist Bruno Pereira and British journalist Dom Phillips, occurred in June 2022 in Vale do Javari [Javari Valley], in Amazonas. The information was confirmed by the superintendent of the Federal Police in the state, Alexandre Fontes, on Monday (23).

According to investigations, “Colombia” had a direct relationship with Amarildo da Costa Oliveira, known as “Pelado”, who is in prison and confessed participation in the deaths of Bruno and Dom. Amarildo’s brother, Oseney, and Jefferson da Silva Lima, also were arrested on suspicion of the crime.

The Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office denounced Amarildo, Oseney and Jefferson for the murder of the victims. According to the superintendent, Colombia should be indicted for the murder in the coming days.

“The motivation is illegal fishing in the Vale do Javari region. And the intellectual author, I have no doubt, is ‘Colombia’. He was also the one who supplied boats for the illegal fishing in the region,” explained the delegate.

The confirmation by the police of the direct involvement of Colombia, which had been pointed out by the Union of Indigenous Peoples of Vale do Javari (Univaja), brings relief to the families of Bruno and Dom, but much remains to be done to defeat the criminals in Javari, says the public note from the Observatory of Human Rights of Isolated Indigenous Peoples and of Recent Contact. “Other people may be involved in the killings, it is necessary to clarify the death of Maxciel Pereira and the involvement, by omission or action, of public servants, including military personnel,” says the note.

On Friday (20), the Federal Court in Amazonas rescheduled the first hearings of the process that investigates the murders of Bruno and Dom. The lawyer for the Union of Indigenous Peoples of Vale do Javari (Univaja), Eliésio Marubo, was dismayed by the postponement of the hearings. For him, the impasse “causes insecurity in the trial and gives the idea that the criminals are poor wretches unjustly treated by the judicial system. “Someone is making mistakes on purpose, because not even a trainee can make such errors,” said the indigenous lawyer.

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Yanomami Genocide: government declares public health emergency

Over 570 children died during Bolsonaro’s administration

Photo: Ricardo Stuckert/Palácio do Planalto

20 Jan 23

Yanomami Genocide: government declares public health emergency

After a visit by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and the Minister of Indigenous Peoples, Sônia Guajajara, the Ministry of Health (MH) declared a public health emergency in Yanomami Indigenous Land. The region is being affected by health negligence, malaria and severe malnutrition. 

“It is very sad to know that indigenous people, especially 570 Yanomami children, have died of starvation during the last government. The Ministry of Indigenous Peoples will take urgent action to fight this humanitarian crisis imposed against our peoples,” said Sônia Guajajara.

Also present at the government visit, Health Minister Nísia Trindade, said that the Bolsonaro government was been “omissive” regarding health care for the Yanomami and blamed illegal gold mining for the state of calamity found. 

 

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Two young Pataxó indigenous individuals are murdered in Bahia

Shells found in the murder scene

Credit: Pataxó People

18 Jan 23

Two young Pataxó indigenous individuals are murdered in Bahia

The government of the state of Bahia confirmed that two indigenous Pataxó individuals were killed yesterday (17) in the extreme south of the state. According to preliminary information from the Civil Police, Samuel Cristiano do Amor Divino, 25, and Nawir Brito de Jesus, 17, were shot yesterday afternoon in Itabela. The region is home to the Barra Velha indigenous land, which is the site of intense conflicts with ranchers.

After the crime, the Minister of Indigenous Peoples, Sônia Guajajara, said she requested the Ministry of Justice and Public Safety to send the National Force to the location. “Yesterday, we lost two young Pataxó due to conflict over land and struggle for demarcation. My first agenda of the day will be with indigenous leaders in the extreme south of Bahia. I will follow closely what has been happening in the region and I will request immediate action from the State,” he wrote.

In the last days of 2022, on December 27, another village in the same Indigenous Land, the Quero Ver, in the municipality of Prado, had been invaded by armed men. According to Brasil de Fato, the atmosphere in the region is of fear and mourning, but giving up is not an option for the community.

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Rodrigo Agostinho (PSB-SP) is appointed as chief of Ibama, Brazil's environmental agency

O deputado federal Rodrigo Agostinho, novo presidente do Ibama, com Marina Silva, durante a COP27 no Egito

Twitter/@rodrigoagost

14 Jan 23

Rodrigo Agostinho (PSB-SP) is appointed as chief of Ibama, Brazil’s environmental agency

On Saturday (14), minister Marina Silva appointed the new president for Ibama, the Brazilian Environmental Agency: the lawyer and former federal representative Rodrigo Agostinho (PSB-SP). A member of the Environmental Caucus at National Congress, he’s been part of the transition cabinet and previously led the Sustainable Development and Environmental Commission at the House of Representatives (2019-2020). 

Agostinho was elected mayor of the city of Bauru, in the State of São Paulo for two consecutive terms (2009-2016); in 2018, he was elected for the federal House of Representatives for the mandate ending this month. He is a bachelor in both Law and Biology, and has a masters in Science and Technology with a focus on Biology and Conservation by USC. He was part of the National Environmental Council (CONAMA) for over 10 years, and also worked as executive manager for Arapyau Institute, as well as founding Vidágua Institute.

The new Ibama president said he was honored by the opportunity and promised a dedicated “technical stewardship of the Agency, supporting the work of agents and public servants’ ‘.

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Lula's government kicks off "clean up" at Ministry of Climate and Environment

A ministra do Meio Ambiente, Marina Silva, assume o cargo, durante cerimônia de transmissão, no Salão Nobre no Palácio do Planalto

Crédito: Valter Campanato/Agência Brasil

13 Jan 23

Lula’s government kicks off “clean up” at Ministry of Climate and Environment

The administration of president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) took broad action and exonerated at once practically all regional and state superintendents for Ibama (Brazilian environmental agency). The dismissals were published on a special edition of the Official Diary of the Union on the evening of Friday, January 13th. 

Ibama has 26 state offices across the country; according to newspaper Folha de São Paulo, during Bolsonaro’s administration the agency was used to accommodate his allies in strategic positions. Former minister Ricardo Salles and former Ibama’s president Ricardo Bim, for instance, appointed several military police officers to lead the civil agency’ s offices. In some cases, those nominated were accused by public servants and experts of harassment, persecution and conflict of interests. 

The current administration now changed 20 out of 26 Ibama’s chiefs at states; the move also affected first tier officials for the Minister of Climate and Environment and its associated secretaries, agencies and governing bodies. 

A week before, on January 2nd, Lula’s government had already exonerated 1.204 public servants who worked under Bolsonaro.  Advisors and directors occupying positions of trust in the previous administration were dismissed following orders signed by Lula’s chief of staff, Rui Costa, as published in the Official Diary of the Union. 

This first wave of exonerations hit federal ministries and agencies, as well as the Presidency structure. A total of 7 ministries were affected, including the Ministry of the Environment, as well as direct advisors and staff for the president ‘s personal team.  The dismissals also swept through the Secretary for Strategic Issues (Homeland) and federal autarchies such as the National Indigenous Foundation (FUNAI), Instituto Chico Mendes for Biodiversity and Conservation as well as the above mentioned environmental agency Ibama. 

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Isolated Indigenous Lands among the most endangered areas in the Amazon, says Ipam new study

Indígenas isolados em aldeia localizada no estado brasileiro do Acre.

Gleilson Miranda / Governo do Acre

11 Jan 23

Isolated Indigenous Lands among the most endangered areas in the Amazon, says Ipam new study

The Indigenous Lands with presence of isolated groups (with little or no contact with outsiders) are the most threatened in the Amazon biome. The conclusion comes from a new study produced by Ipam (Amazon Environmental Research Institute) and Coiab (Coordination of Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon).

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Sônia Guajajara takes office as Minister of Indigenous Peoples

O povo Terena executou a Dança da Ema na posse da ministra Sônia Guajajara no Palácio do Planalto, em Brasília

Crédito: Ana Pessoa/Mídia NINJA

11 Jan 23

Sônia Guajajara takes office as Minister of Indigenous Peoples

Sônia Guajajara became the first minister at the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples on Wednesday (11). She is also the first indigenous woman to occupy a ministry. The ceremony took place at the Planalto Palace, in Brasília. According to TV Cultura, the auditorium was packed to watch the event, with the presence of president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) and other members of the government

Guajajara presented the ministry’s team, formed by Eloy Terena, Executive Secretary; Jozi Kaigang, Chief of Staff; Eunice Kerexu, Secretary of Environmental and Territorial Rights; Ceiça Pitaguary, Secretary of Environmental and Indigenous Territorial Management; Juma Xipaia, Secretary of Articulation and Promotion of Indigenous Rights; and Marcos Xucuru, Special Advisor to the MPI.

“I cannot fail to remember the relatives who were removed from our coexistence by the speech of the fascism that reigned in Brazil in recent years spilling without shame, much indigenous blood. Let us remember the strength of those who fell in the struggle like Paulino Guajajara Ivanilde, Janildo, Jael and Antônio Guajajara ali Uruê Auau, Daiane Gaingang, Estela Vera Guarani Carilar, Wellingto Ariane Oliveira and the girl Raissa. And so many other relatives victimized by illegal mining, by invasions of their territories. And by so many other actions and omissions of the State. Furthermore, I need to highlight the strength of Bruno Pereira and memories that all of our allies and allied defenders of the environment and human rights this brutal murder cannot remain unpunished”.

“If, before, demarcations were focused mainly on the preservation of our culture, new studies have been demonstrating that the maintenance of these areas has an even more comprehensive importance, being fundamental to the stability of ecosystems across the planet, ensuring quality of life, including in large cities. Hence the importance of recognizing the original rights of Indigenous Peoples over the lands where they live,” said Guajajara.

For Guajajara, the protection of biomes, resulting from the preservation of indigenous lands, conservation units and territories inhabited by traditional communities, is “essential” for any agricultural production. “It guarantees water, the presence of pollinating agents and many other factors without which nothing can be produced. Indigenous lands are important allies in the fight against global warming and fundamental for the preservation of our biodiversity,” he said.

The minister recalled that the Paris Agreement and the New York Declaration for Tropical Forests of the United Nations recognized the knowledge of traditional peoples and communities as scientific knowledge and as one of the “last alternatives to contain the climate crisis”. “It is necessary that this knowledge goes beyond international treaties, and be valued in practice, throughout the national territory, through local policies, considering the diversity of peoples, cultures, and territories,” she pointed out.

Minister Anielle Franco, of Racial Equality, also took office on Wednesday. The joint ceremony had several symbolic moments, marked by the sound of African culture and indigenous music. The National Anthem was sung partly in the Tikuna language by Djuena Tikuna, and partly in Portuguese by Marina Íris. The Terena people performed the Dança da Ema, or dança do Bate-pau, a ritualistic manifestation that consecrates great warriors.

According to Sônia Guajajara, one of the first measures she will take in charge of the ministry will be to move forward with the process of ratifying 13 indigenous lands that were already in the final stages of being recognized.Jota made a profile of all 37 ministers that are part of Lula’s government.

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Under pressure from indigenous leaders, Minister of Justice Flavio Dino said the government will act on the killings of Bruno Pereira and Dom Phillips

Indigenista Bruno Pereira e o jornalista Dom Phillips

Cris Vector

5 Jan 23

Under pressure from indigenous leaders, Minister of Justice Flavio Dino said the government will act on the killings of Bruno Pereira and Dom Phillips

The minister of Justice, Flávio Dino, said in an interview on that he will determine the Federal Police to do “as much as they possibly can” to resolve and bring justice on the killings of indigenous expert Bruno Pereira and British journalist Dom Philips, in the Javary Valley in Amazonas state in June 2022. 

Beto Marubo, an indigenous leader and member of the Union of Indigenous Peoples of Javari Valley (Univaja) who worked with Dom and Bruno, has demanded, in his social media channels, that the resolution of the case gets the same effort and priority as the murder of Marielle Franco, the Rio de Janeiro city council deputy murdered in March 2018. “This case also needs to be resolved, to Brazil and to the world”, Marubo tweeted. Due to security issues, Beto Marubo has not been back to the Javari Valley since the brutal murders.  To him, the continued threats and the presence of criminal groups in the region means that “there was absolutely no justice” with regards to the deaths of his colleagues.

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Destruction of Indigenous area led ICMBio to set up task force in Tocantins state

Força-tarefa conta com Ibama, ICMBio, Funai e Polícia Federal

Crédito: Divulgação

5 Jan 23

Destruction of Indigenous area led ICMBio to set up task force in Tocantins state

The destruction of an isolated Indigenous land even under protection of a judicial decision led the Conservation agency ICMBio to set up a task force in the state of Tocantins. Federal agents found cattle inside the “Mata do Mamão”, in the Bananal Island, an ecological sanctuary of primary forest where the Amazon, Cerrado and Pantanal biomes meet. The Mata do Mamão is also home to Isolated indigenous group Avá- Canoeiro. 

To protect them, since 2019 the passing of non-indigenous in the are was prohibited by the Federal Justice; however, the decision has not been enforced. According to ICMBio, 12 years ago Mata do Mamão was double in size in comparison to today – the legal decision aimed to to contain the illegal occupation by cattle ranchers, but failed. The task force has thus been formed with environmental agents to investigate land related crimes and identify who was responsible.

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Marina Silva takes on as Minister of Climate & Environment

A ministra do Meio Ambiente, Marina Silva, assume o cargo, durante cerimônia de transmissão, no Salão Nobre no Palácio do Planalto

Valter Campanato/Agência Brasil

4 Jan 23

Marina Silva takes on as Minister of Climate & Environment

Marina Silva,  socio environmental activist and congresswoman elect, took on her post as Minister of Climate & Environment in the Lula’s government  on Wednesday, January 4th. In her speech, she criticized the previous administration, reaffirmed that Brazil will no longer behave as an “environmental pariah” and announced a new governance structure, including the creation of a Special Secretary to Control Deforestation. This is the second time Marina becomes Minister – she worked the same role between 2003-2008, during Lula’s two first presidential terms. 

She also remembered the rampant killings of forest and land defenders in the Amazon, mentioning the British journalist Dom Phillips and indigenous expert Bruno Pereira. Marina Silva referred to the ‘cattle herd strategy’ adopted by Bolsonaro to weaken environmental legislation amid the covid-19 pandemic in Brazil. “Where there was supposed to be mainly protection, a lot of destruction passed. Several representatives of the National Congress helped to lead all this dismantling process”, she said. 

The new minister announced measures such as the returning the Brazilian Forest Service and the National Water Agency to the Ministry, as well as the creation of special secretaries to: Control Deforestation and Land Use; promote Bioeconomy; Urban Environmental Management and Quality, Sustainable Rural Development and Traditional Communities and Peoples. The re-establishment and enforcement of a national, intersectional plan to curb deforestation in the Amazon and other biomes was also mentioned. Finally, the change to the name of the Ministry which is now called “Ministry of Climate and Environment” to better reflect the urgency of the global climate crisis.

According to the G1 news portal, the ceremony was packed and a projector was set up outside the room to accommodate the overflow of people. 

Lula’s chief of staff, Rui Costa, asserted that the Ministry of Climate and Environment will be asked to engage on the conception and development of projects and policies for the country, with an intersectional and pivotal role in the current government.

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New Minister of Energy and Mining received over R$ 2 million from mining corporations to fund his campaign for the Senate

Ministro de Minas e Energia, Alexandre Silveira em coletiva de imprensa

Marcelo Camargo/Agência Brasil

3 Jan 23

New Minister of Energy and Mining received over R$ 2 million from mining corporations to fund his campaign for the Senate

Nominated  by president Lula, Alexandre Silveira (PSD-MG) took on as Minister of Energy and Mining after receiving substantial donations from mining corporations in his two prior campaigns to be elected Senator. 

On the 2022 campaign, Silveira was backed by Lula for the Senate representation of Minas Gerais state; he was  defeated by bolsonarist Cleitinho Azevedo (Republicanos). Silveira’s party, PSD, received R$ 200,000 in donations from Frederico Carlos Gerdau Johannpeter, a partner of Gerdau corporation; the money was passed along to the candidate. In the 2014 Senate run, Silveira ran as an alternate to Antonio Anastasia (PSDB-MG); the duo was elected with more than R$ 2 million in donations from mining corporations. 

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Deforestation, fines and gold mining: the first measures of Lula's government to rebuild Brazil's socio environmental governance

Presidente Lula inicia o seu terceiro mandato restabelecimento vários programas de proteção ambiental que haviam sido extintos ou enfraquecidos no governo do ex-presidente Jair Bolsonaro

Crédito: Ana Pessoa / Mídia NINJA

2 Jan 23

Deforestation, fines and gold mining: the first measures of Lula’s government to rebuild Brazil’s socio environmental governance

On his first day in office, president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) signed the first decrees revoking or repealing measures adopted by his predecessor Jair Bolsonaro. The so-called “revogaço” (a package of repeals) was promised during Lula’s election campaign and targeted firearms policies, environment and secrecy practices involving public data. 

With regards to the environmental agenda, the president signed the following decrees: determined a 45-day deadline to finalize a proposal to regulate the National Council for the Environment (CONAMA, which was strongly damaged under Bolsonaro); ; reestablishment of rules to reopen the Amazon Fund (shut down by Bolsonaro in the first few months of this government) – both Norway and Germany announced R$ 3,3 billion of Fund resources for immediate release; revoked a decree permitting gold mining inside protected and sensitive areas that was signed by Bolsonaro;  resuming the Action Plan to Prevent and Control Deforestation, including all Brazilian biomes to reach the zero deforestation target; reviewed the norms for environmental fines and sanctions, excluding practises that led to impunity for environmental criminals (that were also weakened by Bolsonaro); established the permanent Interministerial Commission to Prevent and Control Deforestation engaging 19 federal ministries, including the Ministry of Climate and Environment, Agriculture and Livestock, Agrarian Development and Indigenous Peoples; the decrees also rearranged the civil society participation on the board of the National Environmental Fund and gave back to the Ministry of the Environment the control over the Rural Property Database (which was moved to Agriculture under Bolsonaro). 

On Monday January 2nd, Funai had its name changed: created in 1967 as the National Indian Foundation, it is now called National Foundation for Indigenous People.  FUNAI is now part of the structure of the newly established Ministry of Indigenous People. For the first time also, Funai is presided over by an indigenous woman, the former federal deputy Joenia Wapichana. 

On the same day, Minister Marina Silva canceled a norm created by former minister of the Environment Ricardo Salles that took away important technical attributions to Ibama’s environmental agents. According to  Brasil de Fato publication, the norm paralyzed Ibama’s inspections and law enforcement capacities. A survey by Estadao media showed that out of 1,154 infractions and fines issued after October 2019, when Salles changed the rules, 98% were not enforced or charged. Marina Silva also determined that infractions and fines must be made publicly available on the internet. During Bolsonaro’s government, the database on infractions and fines were made inaccessible. It was also determined that 50% of money raised with fines will be destined to the National Environmental Fund (FNMA), to support environmental policies. Minister Marina also said that more repeals and changes will be published in the upcoming days and weeks.

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Joênia Wapichana becomes the first indigenous woman to preside over FUNAI in 55 years

Da esquerda para a direita: Cacique Raoni, a ministra Sonia Guajajara, a presidente da Funai, Joenia Wapichana, e o secretário Especial de Saúde Indígena, Weibe Tapeba, durante a Retomada da FUNAI

Crédito: Lohana Chaves/FUNAI

2 Jan 23

Joênia Wapichana becomes the first indigenous woman to preside over FUNAI in 55 years

For the first time in its 55-year history, the federal agency responsible for Brazil’s indigenous policy will be commanded by an indigenous woman. Attorney Joenia Wapichana became president of the National Foundation of Indigenous Peoples (FUNAI), which is responsible for protecting and promoting the rights of the country’s different ethnic groups.

On Monday (2), Joenia Wapichana participated in an ceremony at the headquarters in Brasilia, organized by the two class-associations of the agency’s employees, the Indigenistas Associados (INA) and the Associação Nacional dos Servidores da Funai (Ansef). Entitled “Resumption of Funai”, the event brought together indigenous leaders, servers and experts under the banner of reconstruction and strengthening of the institution, celebrating the occupation of strategic spaces of Brazilian politics by native peoples in 2023. “The FUNAI is ours!”, shouted the indigenous leaders and employees upon Joenia’s arrival. The official nomination for the position should take place on January 24th.

Besides the future president of Funai, also present were the Minister of Indigenous Peoples, Sônia Guajajara, the federal deputy elected by the State of Minas Gerais, Célia Xakriabá, the chief Raoni Metuktire, and other prominent names, such as Eloy Terena, Júlio Yanomami, Agnelo Xavante, the shaman Tanawy Xukuru Kariri, and Weibe Tapeba, who will be the secretary of Indigenous Health in Lula’s government.

Created in 1967 as the National Indian Foundation, FUNAI is now called the National Foundation of Indigenous Peoples and will become part of the structure of the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples, headed by Sônia Guajajara.

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Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva starts third mandate as president of Brazil

Cerimônia de posse do presidente da República, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva no Palácio do Planalto

Crédito: Tânia Rego/Agência Brasil

1 Jan 23

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva starts third mandate as president of Brazil

The president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) was sworn in and took on as president of Brazil on Sunday, January 1st. In his inauguration speech at the National Congress, Lula included several promises and ambitious goals for his government ‘s socio environmental agenda. He said that the goal is to reach zero deforestation in the Amazon and to promote an economic transition that puts Brazil on the path to sustainability. 

“No other country has the conditions of Brazil to become an environmental super power based on creative bioeconomy and biodiversity entrepreneurship”, said the president. “We will kick start the energy-ecological transition to more sustainable agribusiness and mining, with a greener industry and a stronger small scale agriculture” (…)”We want to reach zero deforestation in the Amazon and also zero GHG emissions from our energy matrix. We want to recover and use already degraded areas such as pastures. Brazil does not need more deforestation to keep and expand its strategic agriculture frontier”, he added, reassuring that the government will continue to secure farmers the “freedom and opportunity to sow, plant and reap”.

“However we can not admit a “lawless land”, and we won’t tolerate violence against small farmers, deforestation and environmental degradation that caused far too much harm to our country”, he stressed. According to Lula, the need to protect the forest is one of the key reasons for the creation of the Ministry of Indigenous Peoples. “Nobody knows our forests, or is better prepared to stand for them, than those who have been here since immemorial times. Each demarcated indigenous land is a new environmentally protected area”(…) “we bear a historic debt and owe these Brazilians respect; we will revoke all injustices committed against the indigenous peoples”. 

The indigenous chief Raoni Metuktire, 90, ancient leader of the Kayapo people, told the press he was happy to be invited by Lula to join him at the inauguration ceremony. Chief Raoni is internationally recognized as a historic defender of indigenous people and was attacked several times by former president Bolsonaro; he was one of seven representatives of Brazilian social diversity to pass on the sash to president Lula at the presidential palace. 

“Now, we have approached the government and want the indigenous people to be remembered. I asked Lula to help indigenous people and reminded him of the still non demarcated lands. I hope that the government demarcates the lands to secure peace to indigenous people. To my indigenous relatives, I declare I did my part, took the opportunity to speak to the president and called his attention to us”, affirmed Raoni.

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Bolsonarist terrorist that tried (and failed) to explode bomb planted on fuel truck close to Brasilia's airport used explosives from wildcat gold mining

Indígenas protestam contra garimpo

Crédito: Mídia Ninja

25 Dec 22

Bolsonarist terrorist that tried (and failed) to explode bomb planted on fuel truck close to Brasilia’s airport used explosives from wildcat gold mining

The Bolsonaro supporter who tried to explode a homemade bomb in the surroundings of Brasilia’s airport on December 24th used explosives from wildcat gold digging and other mining operations in the Amazon state of Pará.  The 54-year old suspect is called George Washington De Oliveira Sousa and he traveled from Para to join the extremists camping in front of the Military Headquarters in Brasilia. In a statement to the police, he admitted the political motivation behind the failed terrorist attack. According to the Civil Police from Brasilia, the suspect is registered as a weapon holder (Caçador, Atirador e Colecionador – CAC, in Portuguese).

The news portal De Olho Nos Ruralistas raised suspicions that agribusiness stakeholders are behind extreme bolsonarists such as Sousa –  who was camped in Brasilia since November claiming for a military coup to prevent Lula from becoming president. The same news portal also revealed that George’s declared address is the same of the transport company Transpal, which has permits to carry hazardous materials and has been caught with illegal timber in the past. 

 

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When the lights go out, Agro maneuvers the last herd of the Bolsonaro government

Agrotóxico Mata – Guarapuava PR

Crédito: @samuelfbueno/Mídia ECO

21 Dec 22

When the lights go out, Agro maneuvers the last herd of the Bolsonaro government

This Monday afternoon (19) the Brazilian Senate Agrarian Reform and Agriculture Commission approved a favorable opinion on the Poison Package (PL1459/2022).

The Poison Package is a compilation of legislative projects that aims to replace the current Pesticides Law (Law 7.802/1989) with a new text, even eliminating the word “agrotoxic” [as it is commonly known in Brazil], and replacing it with a milder term: pesticide. The text makes the release and use of pesticides more flexible in the country, in addition to leading Anvisa and Ibama to a secondary role in the registration, inspection and analysis of substances. At the end of the meeting, Congress also approved an urgent request for the consideration of the bill in the plenary of the House.

On the same date, Greenpeace Brasil filed an appeal with the Court of Justice of Rondônia in response to the lawsuit filed by Senator Acir Gurgacz (PDT – RO) for his position against the approval of the “Poison Package”. More than 300 health and environment organizations, government agencies – such as Ibama, the National Cancer Institute (INCA), the Federal Public Ministry (MPF), Fiocruz and Anvisa – and even the United Nations have already protested against this measure.

On Tuesday night (20), the Senate approved in plenary the Law Project of Self-Control, a bill that will allow the agricultural industries to supervise their food production themselves. These activities are currently carried out exclusively by inspectors from the Ministry of Agriculture. “Outsourced inspection”, which removes part of the role of federal agricultural inspectors, subordinated to the Ministry of Agriculture, has been contested by the Union of Federal Agricultural Inspectors (Anffa Sindical). The Project has already passed through the Chamber of Deputies and is now going for presidential sanction.

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Pesticides: public bodies carry out 'silent treatment' after poisoning at a school in Sinop (MT)

Após receber multa, agricultor retirou a soja que estava mais próxima da escola (área raspada da plantação, no centro da foto)

Crédito: Fernando Martinho/Repórter Brasil

19 Dec 22

Pesticides: public bodies carry out ‘silent treatment’ after poisoning at a school in Sinop (MT)

In the city known as the ‘Brazilian cradle of soybeans’, city hall and state agency refuse to provide information and jeopardize the treatment of children aged 4 to 11 who were victims of pesticide poisoning. About 150 children and school staff were intoxicated by pesticides applied in the soy plantation of Carlos Henrique Moreira Alves, less than 20 meters from the Municipal School of Basic Education Silvana. The case occurred on December 2 in the rural area of Sinop, Mato Grosso.

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Greenhouse gas emissions from thermal power plants grew 75% in 2021

Complexo térmico Jorge Lacerda (SC), 857 MW. Composto por três usinas, a primeira em operação desde 1965

Crédito: Divulgação

19 Dec 22

Greenhouse gas emissions from thermal power plants grew 75% in 2021

A study recently published by the Institute for Energy and Environment (IEMA) shows that in 2021, greenhouse gas emissions from coal fueled power plants grew 57% compared to 2020. The growth in overall emissions from thermal power plants is even worse: 75% considering all sources, such as coal, gas, fuel and diesel oil.

“The picture is worrying because, among all the power plants operating in the system, coal-fired plants are the ones that emit the most greenhouse gas per terawatt-hour produced. As a comparison, while coal generation represents 17% of the total electricity produced, greenhouse gas emissions from this fuel represent 30% of all emissions. Not to mention the impacts of these plants on air quality,” says Raissa Gomes, from IEMA, one of the authors of the study.

With this exponential increase, the share of fossil sources for electricity generation in Brazil rose from 15% in 2020 to 20% in 2021. The 82 fossil fuel power plants listed in the study emitted 55.6 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e), points out IEMA.

Meanwhile, the businessman Carlos Suarez, known as “King of Gas”, is articulating to try to guarantee that his ally Elmar Nascimento, federal deputy for the Brazilian Union of Bahia, will be appointed Minister of Mines and Energy in the Lula government.

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