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Gabriel Abreu – from Cenarium

MANAUS – President Jair Bolsonaro (No Party) was denounced again on Tuesday, 12, at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, Netherlands. This time the denunciation came from an Austrian Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). The NGO All Rise accuses Bolsonaro of crimes against humanity because of the deforestation of the Amazon, with an impact on global health.

All Rise points out that the Brazilian government is responsible, annually, for the destruction of about 4,000 square kilometers of the Amazon Rainforest and that the deforestation rate has increased 88% since Bolsonaro came to power. The entity also highlights that Bolsonaro has promoted a broad campaign that has resulted in the assassination of environmental defenders and puts thousands of people at risk because of the emissions of polluting gases caused by the dismantling of trees.

“Crimes against nature are crimes against humanity. Jair Bolsonaro is fueling the mass destruction of the Amazon with his eyes wide open and in full knowledge of the consequences”, said NGO founder Johannes Wesemann.

Wesemann also stated that since the Amazon biome is the lung of the planet, its destruction affects the entire world. “In our complaint, we present evidence that shows how Bolsonaro’s actions are directly connected to the negative impacts of climate change worldwide”, explained Johannes.

The institution also calls the population to participatory action, through an online petition at ThePlanetVS.org. “Only if we all come together and bring responsible people like President Bolsonaro to justice can we secure our planet for generations to come. Powerful individuals who intentionally destroy the environment must be prosecuted”, said the environmentalist.

Deforestation in the Amazon

Deforestation in the Amazon has reached, in 35 years, an area equivalent to the territories of Spain and the United Kingdom combined. According to data from a survey released by MapBiomas, 74.6 million hectares of the region’s natural vegetation cover were destroyed during this period.

The survey considers the changes that occurred between 1985 and 2020, which are registered from a mapping of satellite images. Last October 30th, the general coordinator of the MapBiomas climate observatory, Tasso Azevedo, presented the results of the survey.

“MapBiomas is a project whose purpose is to reveal the transformations of the territory through science, with precision, agility, quality and to make the knowledge about the coverage and use of the land accessible. This is to seek the conservation and sustainable management of natural resources and the mitigation of climate change”, explained Azevedo.

According to the survey, there was a 656% growth in mining, 130% in urban infrastructure and 151% in agriculture and livestock. Among the countries that comprise the Amazon, Brazil was the one that lost the most territory: 19% of the total, while Suriname, Guyana and French Guyana lost 1% of their vegetation.

Furthermore, in 1985, 6% of the territory in the Amazon was converted into pastureland. This occupation increased to 15% in 2020, deforesting the native area of the region and converting it to pasture, agriculture, mining or urban areas.

A part of the Amazon rainforest being consumed by illegal fires (Carl de Souza/AFP)

Other denunciations

This is not the first time the Brazilian president has been denounced at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague. One of the main indigenous leaders of the country, the cacique Raoni Matuktire asked, in January 2020, that the ICC investigate Bolsonaro for “crimes against humanity”. According to Raoni, the Brazilian management persecutes traditional people, besides destroying habitats and violating fundamental rights

Also in 2020, health professionals in Brazil also asked the ICC to open an investigation for “crimes against humanity” allegedly committed by Bolsonaro because of his posture in the management of the Covid-19 pandemic.

And just this year, the Articulation of Indigenous People of Brazil (Apib) accused Bolsonaro of genocide of the native population, asking the ICC to open an inquiry.