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BRAZIL’S ENVIRONMENT MINISTER SUED FOR PROMOTING AMAZON LOGGING

Credit: AP

Brazil’s Federal Police Superintendent in the Amazon Alexandre Saraiva is suing Environment Minister Ricardo Salles for favoring illegal logging. The lawsuit was filed by Brazil’s Supreme Court, which must now decide whether to open an investigation against Salles or not.

In 2020, police officials seized over 20,000 cubic meters of wood illegally extracted from the Amazon. “Since then, Salles has condemned the police operation and has defended the apparent legality of the material and loggers under investigation,” Saraiva said. “Salles, who evidently has an alliance with the timber sector, is obstructing environmental crime investigations and seeking private and illegitimate businessmen’s support,” he added.

In early March, Ricardo Salles visited the Amazon to address the conflict. He stated that the land from which the trees was extracted is legal and recalled that wood extraction is allowed in Brazil. Deforestation in the Amazon, the world’s largest rainforest, rose by 17 percent in 2020. Wildfires, beef production, and logging are causing forested areas to disappear at a rapid rate. Earlier this month, Brazil sought US$1 billion in aid from countries including the U.S. and Norway to help reduce deforestation by up to 40 percent. What are your thoughts?

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