According to some journalistic investigations, it has come to light that the Institute of the Environment knew of the plan to set fire to part of the Amazon and did nothing to prevent it.
The Brazilian Environment Institute (IBAMA) had information about a group of rural producers who were planning to start a fire in the Amazon rainforest. They found out three days before and despite this, they did not take measures to prevent it.
The information came after the Public Ministry of the State of Pará sent an official letter.
A journalistic investigation mentions that on August 7, three days before the fire that spread through the Novo Progresso region, in Pará, the Federal Prosecutor's Office of Pará (MPF) sent a letter to Ibama informing that a group of rural producers had the intention to start a burning in protest.
Another investigation showed that on August 10, some of 70 people (including trade unionists, farmers, merchants and land grabbers) from Altamira and Novo Progresso, communicated through a WhatsApp group, were coordinating to start a burning on the side of the BR-163 highway, which connects this region of Pará with the river ports of the Tapajós river and the state of Mato Grosso.
Between group conversations, leaders argued the need to "Demonstrate to the president" the will in "to work" and to achieve it "The only way is collapsing" native vegetation. "We are going to clean our pastures with fire", among other comments and summoned the “Fire Day ”.
Ibama's response to the MPF, dated 12, reports that "The Coordination of Surveillance Operations and the Intelligence Center of the Superintendency of Pará had been informed about the imminence of the incidents and indicated that due to the various attacks suffered and the lack of support from the military police of Pará"Inspection actions were hampered by "Involving risks related to the safety of the equipment in the field."
Brazilian Environment Minister Ricardo Salles announced that President Jair Bolsonaro had decided to open "A rigorous investigation to find and punish those responsible for the events". While the Minister of Justice, Sergio Moro, accompanied him by stating that “The Federal Police is going, with its expertise, to clarify the fact. Criminal fires in the Amazon will be severely punished. "
Sim, I was contacted by the same hair PR @jairbolsonaro about or fato and requesting rigorous hurry. To Federal Police vai, with your expertise, rush or fate. Criminal inmates in the Amazon will be severely punished. https://t.co/DweaatqHqn- Sergio Moro (@SF_Moro) August 25, 2019
Bolsonaro withdraws support for IBAMA
The Brazilian Federal Government had considered the almost 300 percent increase in deforestation alerts as normal, according to the statements of the Minister of Science and Technology, Marcos Pontes, in early August.
Throughout 2019, more than 75 thousand fires were registered, 85 percent more than in all of 2018.
Despite all this, the president of Brazil is weakening the agency in charge of protecting the tropical forest. Ibama's budget has been reduced by 25%, specifically, financing for the prevention and control of forest fires was reduced by 23%.
Ibama's new leadership has also made it difficult for the agency to crack down on illegal logging, agriculture and mining, which have destroyed nearly 12,000 square kilometers in the Amazon this year.
Bolsonaro rejects G7 help to fight fires in the Amazon
In addition to the cuts and other measures, Bolsonaro continues to make decisions that complicate the situation in the Amazon by rejecting the aid proposed by the G7 countries to fight the fires.
"Brazil will not accept any initiative that implies relativizing sovereignty over its territory, whatever the pretext and whatever the clothing."Brazilian Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo commented on French President Emmanuel Macron's offer of help to fight the fires. Take care of "His house and his colonies"he added.
And while the fires continue
With information from: