Opinion

Why is Brazil’s lower house impervious to public opinion?

Environmentalists protested in Congress last week, with massive support from celebrities and prominent figures — yet, lawmakers ignored their demands. How can they afford to do that?

house Environmentalists protest in front of Brazil's Congress building. Photo: Paulo Sergio/CD/CC-BY 4.0
Environmentalists protest in front of Brazil’s Congress building. Photo: Paulo Sergio/CD/CC-BY 4.0

Pro-environment groups occupied Brazil’s Congress last week to protest against the approval of a set of bills known as the “destruction package,” including proposals to loosen rules on pesticide use and mining, among other changes. On Wednesday, protesters were joined by famous Brazilian songwriter Caetano Veloso for a rally against a bill legalizing mining activities on protected indigenous lands. However, despite this high-profile pressure, the House went ahead and fast-tracked the bill regardless, meaning it will go to a vote between April 12 and 14, without having to undergo analysis from a series of legislative committees.

In light...

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