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This post is also available in (Post também disponível em): Português (Portuguese (Brazil))

Ana Pastana – From Cenarium Magazine e (*) Caroline Viegas

MANAUS – This week, the Federal Public Prosecutor’s Office (MPF), the Federal Revenue Service, and the Federal Police (PF) began liaising with the US government to adopt measures in relation to companies that exported illegal timber to the United States ( USA). In an unfolding of Operation Archimedes, in December last year, more than 130,000 cubic meters of illegal timber were seized for export.

The Secretariat for International Cooperation (SCI) acted in forwarding the information to the United States. Among the measures sent to the American authorities, is the identification of Brazilian companies that negotiated illegal timber for export. After this verification, the return of cargo sold by the companies will be provided.

In American harbor, samples of ipe, jatoba, and others exported from Brazil were collected to be compared with the sample bank of the area declared to be the source of forest exploitation. The isotope technique (those that occur commonly in nature) and technological resources developed in Brazil, will be used for this identification.

Due to the crimes found in the criminal investigations in Brazil, the wood loads linked to the companies involved in Operation Handroanthus-GLO, are formally apprehended in a police investigation. Considering the illegality of origin, under the Lacey Act (American legislation that deals with trade-in vegetable products), this wood is also considered illegal in the United States.

Largest seizure of illegal timber in history

The Federal Police (PF), during the Handroanthus-GLO operation, seized more than 130 thousand cubic meters of wood taken from the forest informally, being considered the largest in the country’s history. In partnership with the Federal Public Ministry, the operation reached 43,700 logs in Pará, along the Mamuru and Arapiuns rivers (a region bordering the Amazon by the municipality of Parintins (369 kilometers from Manaus).

The action raised the debate among experts who said it was an “irreparable damage” to the environment. According to the MPF, investigations began in mid-November, after the seizure of a ferry in Parintins, with 3,000 cubic meters of wood extracted from Pará.

Purchase of illegal timber

Todo o carregamento de madeira especial, que se acredita ser destinado a móveis de alto nível, foi ancorado no município de Parintins, AM, na divisa com o Pará em dezembro de 2020. Parece que é uma rede de contrabando bem organizada, que atua em violações da lei e da inércia dos órgãos de fiscalização governamental.

The cargo was composed of ‘noble woods’ but is not intended for charcoal production, on the contrary, it makes up the ‘fine flower’ of the designed furniture design industry. Sources investigated by CENARIUM MAGAZINE guaranteed that the product was destined: Europe or the disputed furniture market in the United States.

‘Indian exchanges log for beer’

The President of the Republic, Jair Bolsonaro, generated revolt in the institutions that represent the indigenous and traditional peoples of the Amazon, after saying that there were places where the Indians traded ‘logs’ for Coca-Cola or Beer. The intuition of the current president was to attribute to the indigenous and natives the increase in the number of deforestation in the region.

Alongside the superintendent of the Federal Police in Amazonas, Alexandre Saraiva, Bolsonaro questioned the delegate whether the action was possible. Visibly embarrassed by the president’s speech, Saraiva replies that it has already happened that timber on indigenous land is traded for meager values, but the major cause of deforestation was fraud in administrative processes.