Guest essay by Eric Worrall
President Bolsonaro has accused green NGOs of deliberately setting fire to the Amazon Rainforest, in retaliation for having their funding slashed.
Igniting global outrage, Brazil’s Bolsonaro baselessly blames NGOs for Amazon fires
BRASILIA/RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro on Wednesday accused non-governmental organizations of burning down the Amazon rainforest to hurt his government, as a growing global outcry against the wildfires raged through social media.
Presented without evidence and disputed by environmental and climate experts, Bolsonaro’s comments enraged critics and fanned a growing social media campaign over the dangers to the Amazon, one of the world’s key bulwarks against climate change.
#PrayforAmazonas was the world’s top trending topic on Twitter on Wednesday, and millions of people took to Instagram and Facebook to share concerns over the future of the Amazon. With global awareness growing, Bolsonaro’s comments risk creating a spiraling crisis for his government, imperiling an EU-Mercosur trade pact and upsetting key agribusiness clients.
“Everything indicates” that NGOs were going to the Amazon to “set fire” to the forest, Bolsonaro said in a Facebook Live broadcast on Wednesday morning. When asked if he had evidence to back up his claims, he said he had “no written plan,” adding “that’s not how it’s done.”
The former army captain turned politician said the slashing of NGO funding by his government could be a motive.
“Crime exists,” he said. “These people are missing the money.”
…Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-brazil-politics/brazils-bolsonaro-says-ngos-may-be-setting-fires-in-amazon-rainforest-idUSKCN1VB1BY
Frankly I would like to see more evidence. I’m open to the idea, but I think Bolsonaro should have waited until he could present tangible evidence to back his claims before making such an announcement.