Hundreds of environmental offenders will run for office in Brazil’s elections

Data from Ibama and electoral courts shows that 181 officials running for election this year have received fines for environmental infractions — as have a vast number of President Jair Bolsonaro's campaign donors

environmental offenders will run for office in Brazil's elections
Illegal timber seized by environmental agencies in Novo Progresso, Pará. Photo: Lalo de Almeida/Folhapress

In January 2012, President Jair Bolsonaro — a member of Congress at the time — was fined by Brazil’s environmental protection agency Ibama for illegal fishing in a conservation area south of Rio de Janeiro. Mr. Bolsonaro appealed, and shortly after winning the presidential election in 2018 the fine was extinguished. Three months later, the public servant responsible for issuing the fine was fired from his managerial role.

Environmental fines for Brazilian politicians are by no means rare, however. And in this coming election Mr. Bolsonaro will be just one of 181 public officials running for election with environmental...

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