Saturday, August 24, 2019

Amazon rainforest is burning — Bolsonaro is a modern Nero

An immense ecological disaster has been taking place for over two weeks in the "earth's lungs", the Amazon rainforest in South America

According to the estimations of Brazilian and Bolivian authorities, more than 500,000 acres of virgin forest have already been destroyed, thousands of wild animals have been killed and several local tribes have been affected. 

It must be noted that the area of Amazon covers 7.4 million square kilometres (5 million sq klm consist of dense rainforest), spreading to 9 countries including Brazil (60%), Peru, Colombia, Bolivia, Equador, Paraguay, Suriname, Guyana and French Guiana. The huge rainforest of Amazon has been characteristed as the "earth's lungs", taking into account that it absorbs approximately 1 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. 

This devastating ecological disaster is linked to the deeply anti-environmental policy of the reactionary, far-right government of Jair Bolsonaro. Instead of paying attention to the protection of the Amazon rainforest, the Bolsonaro government promotes the exploitation of the region by multinational companies for biofuels, agricultural production, mining and extensive logging. The truth is that this destructive policy had began by the former, social democratic governments of Lula da Silva and Roussef ; however, the policy of Bolsonaro seems to be far more dangerous. 

It is more than clear that the huge forest fires in Amazon consist a man-made crime, which is linked to profit-making business plans. From his side, the far-right leader of Brazil is trying to disorient public opinion from the real causes behind the Amazon's destruction. He blamed the "environmentalists" and the severe conditions of draught - anyone but his government. When asked about the spread of the fires, President Bolsonaro dismissed criticism that he and his administration weren’t doing enough to prevent or control the flames and told reporters that this was the time of the year of the “queimada” or burns, when farmers use fire to clear land.

“I used to be called Captain Chainsaw. Now I am Nero, setting the Amazon aflame. But it is the season of the queimada,” he told journalists in an effort to avoid his huge responsibilities. "Bolsonaro government's absurdities are becoming a catastrophic threat for the environment and national economy", commented Daniel Almeida, Member of the Chamber of Deputies and a Communist Party of Brazil (PCdoB) member. 

As Telesur mentions, over the last year  the Brazilians have frequently taken to the streets to protest against Bolsonaro's neoliberal policies, among which are the dismantling of the Environmental Ministry and the refusal to maintain legal protections to indigenous territories at the Amazon.
In Latin America, protests outside Brazilian embassies have been confirmed so far in Argentina, Ecuador, and Peru. In Europe, demonstrations are taking place in London, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Malaga, Lugo, Sevilla, Valencia, Salamanca, Zaragoza, Lisbon and Dublin since Friday morning.