Prosecutors open three probes into government environmental policies

environmental policies
“The Amazon or Bolsonaro,” says protester asking for the impeachment of the Brazilian president. Photo: Nelson Antoine/Shutterstock

Prosecutors in Brasília have opened three investigations to ascertain whether federal officials committed crimes in relation to environmental policies enacted by the Jair Bolsonaro administration.

One probe will investigate a publication made by the president’s press secretary in September last year, stating that the area destroyed by fire in 2020 was the smallest of the previous 18 years. However, the comparison was made between the first 8 months of 2020 and the 12 months of other years, inducing the reader to a false comparison.

The Federal Prosecution Office will also investigate the appointment of military police officers in strategic roles at Brazil’s environmental protection agency Ibama. The decisions took place during the administration of former Environment Minister Ricardo Salles.

Another inquiry will address the increase in the number of pesticides cleared for use between 2019 and 2020. Last year alone, 493 types of pesticides were approved, according to Agriculture Ministry data.