Brazil plans to militarize Amazon while ignoring deforestation

A leaked dossier from Brazil's Defense Ministry shows plans to increase the number of military troops in the Amazon rainforest

amazon military
Brazilian army soldier during anti-deforestation military mission in the Amazon. Photo: Estevam/CComSEx/EB

In the name of national sovereignty, Brazil’s armed forces have had troops stationed in the Amazon since the Brazilian Empire of the 19th century, when the country was ruled by a constitutional monarchy. Spanning over 5.5 million square meters, the Brazilian Amazon is seen as strategic territory by the military, bordering seven neighboring countries. Today, almost 200 years since Brazil’s last monarch Pedro II sent troops to the region, the Amazon has its largest military contingent in history.

Based in the northern city of Manaus, the Amazon Military Command comprises a regiment of over 17,000 men and women, often...

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