Environmental organizations led by Austrian NGO All Rise filed a representation on Tuesday at the International Criminal Court (ICC) accusing President Jair Bolsonaro of committing “crimes against humanity” due to his alleged role in the increase of deforestation rates in the Brazilian Amazon since taking office as president.
They asked The Hague-based ICC to pursue legal proceedings against Mr. Bolsonaro and his administration for actions “directly connected to the negative impacts of climate change around the world.” The group further accuses the Brazilian government of “systematically removing, neutering, and eviscerating laws, agencies, and individuals that serve to protect the Amazon.”
Under Mr. Bolsonaro, Brazil has observed a spike in deforestation rates not only in the Amazon, but also in the Cerrado savanna and the Pantanal wetlands. The president has constantly taken the side of loggers, with his former Environment Minister facing criminal charges for allegedly helping companies export illegal timber.
Last week, Brazilian diplomats tried to amend a UN resolution granting people the right to a safe environment. Brazil wanted national sovereignty to take precedence over that human right but caved in the face of enormous international pressure.