Brazilian far-right President Jair Bolsonaro blamed media for being “deceitful” and hyping destruction of the Amazon rainforest during a speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.
Brazil: Tenharim People, Guardians of Amazon, Battle Wildfires
In his 30-minute-long address, Bolsonaro denied that the Amazon was “being devasted or consumed by fire, as the media deceitfully says.”
“Our Amazon is larger than the whole of Western Europe and remains virtually untouched-proof that we are one of the countries that most protect the environment.”
Around 17 percent of the Amazon has been destroyed in the last 50 years and if the rate of destruction reaches 20 or 25 percent, it will be irreversible.
Brazil’s reputation has taken a hit since Bolsonaro took office in January and with the recent wildfire, it has come under more criticism.
He has attacked leftist ideologies and blamed them for everything.
“With these methods, this ideology has left a trail of death, ignorance and misery, wherever it has gone,” he said.
“Any country has problem. But the sensationalist attacks we suffered from the large part of the international media over the fires in the Amazon awakened our patriotic feelings,” Bolsonaro said.
He again vowed to reduce the Indigenous territories and open them up to commercial mining.
“Brazil now has a president who cares about those who were here before the arrival of the Portuguese in 1500. Indians don’t want to be poor landowners living on rich soils-especially the richest soils on Earth.”
Bolsonaro also blamed for NGOs and governments of greed and said they had eyes on mineral wealth and resources in Indigenous territory.
Sonia Guajajara, an Indigenous leader slammed Bolsonaro and said his words are a farce.
“This is an attempt to trick the world and show he has support. But … it is another of his big lies. It doesn’t matter what image he wants to project. What matters are his actions – which the world whole is seeing,” she said.