Brasilia.- Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro on Tuesday confirmed that his government wants to «preserve the Amazon», but without giving up its wealth, by defending a controversial bill that allows mining and electricity generation in reserves indigenous people.» We want it to be preserved (the Amazon), but also that its goods do not stay there, simply hidden, forever. We want the increasingly Brazilian Amazon,» the representative said, at an official event in Brasilia on the occasion of the creation of the National Council of the Amazon.
The ruler hopes that this new body will be the «to those» response to «criticizing» it for its aggressive environmental policy, especially in the wake of last year’s devastating fires, which in August were the worst in a decade, and alarming data from Deforestation. The Brazilian Amazon lost 9,762 square kilometres of its plant cover between August 2018 and July 2019, the worst recorded since 2008 and 29.5% higher than the same period of the previous year. At the helm of the new council will be Brazilian Vice President Hamilton Mourao, who will aim to promote actions for the protection and sustainable development of the largest tropical forest on the planet. In his speech, Bolsonaro took the opportunity to defend a bill, already in the hands of Congress for analysis and which establishes specific conditions for regulating the exploitation of mineral resources, oil and gas, as well as the construction of hydroelectric plants in indigenous lands.» It is a project so that it will depend on Parliament that our Indian brothers, if they so wish, will be able to do on their land everything that their white colleague who is at his side,» he explained. However, according to the text, indigenous people may veto authorization for «garimpo» (artisanal mining) on their lands to persons who do not belong to their ethnicity, but not other activities or projects in their territories, for which they would only be heard. The far-right leader wanted to make it «very clear» that «no one is against proper protection and land for the Indian brothers», but believes that the policy of demarcation of indigenous reserves has been «abusive» with «14% of the national territory» protected.» The Amazon really belongs to us,» he noted to claim Brazil’s sovereignty over «that richest piece of land, not just Brazil, but the world.» For his part, Mourao said he was «proud» to be part of a government that has «the courage» to assume «publicly and institutionally the task of protecting, preserving and developing the Brazilian Amazon.»
The ceremony was also attended by a large part of the ministers of the Government of Bolsonaro, including those of Foreign Affairs, Ernesto Araújo; Justice and Public Security, Sergio Moro; Environment; Ricardo Salles, and Of Mines and Energy, Bento Albuquerque.