Environment

Environment Minister is really “running the cattle herd” through Amazon

Ricardo Salles promised to change environmental protections while the press is distracted by Covid-19 — we look at what he has done so far

Environment Minister is really "running the cattle herd" through Amazon
Environment Minister Ricardo Salles, speaking before Congress in October 2019. Photo: Marcelo Camargo/ABr

Since taking charge in January 2019, Brazil’s Environment Minister Ricardo Salles has been repeatedly accused of loosening environmental protections in the Amazon to clear a path for land-grabbers and other private interests. Despite vehemently denying these claims in public and in an interview with The Brazilian Report, footage of an April 22 cabinet meeting showed Mr. Salles make a brazen defense of this exploratory stance toward Brazil’s Amazon.

Unaware that the contents of the meeting would eventually be made public, the Environment Minister spoke of taking advantage of the press’ undivided attention on the Covid-19 pandemic to “run...

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