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  • Deforested area in the Amazon rainforest, near Altamira, Para state, Brazil, September 11, 2019.

    Deforested area in the Amazon rainforest, near Altamira, Para state, Brazil, September 11, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 13 September 2019

Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro has fostered an unprecedented destruction of the Amazon since entering office last January.

Over 20 social and environmental organizations led by Brazil's Indigenous People Articulation (APIB) sent the United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres a letter asking him to "condemn" President Jair Bolsonaro for his constant attacks on the Amazon rainforests and the Indigenous people who live there.

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The petition was signed by organizations such as the Committee for the Defense of Democracy in Brazil, Amazon Watch, Act Now to Stop the War and End Racism, Extinction Rebellion, Earthstrike, U.S. Network to Defend Democracy in Brazil, and Revolting Lesbians and Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network, among other organizations.

Besides denying the existence of climate change, this politician has fostered "an unprecedented destruction of the Amazon and a rapid reversal of decades of attempts at environmental and human rights progress in the region," say the groups in their petition.

These human rights defenders and environmental activists are outraged that the Brazilian president is set to inaugurate the 2019 Climate Action Summit to take place Sept. 23 in New York.

The APIB letter reads that the Amazon is home to more than one million Indigenous people whose ancient cultures represent world heritage.

On several occasions, however, the far-right former army captain turned head of state has dismantled state institutions that protect Indigenous peoples, dismissing them "barriers" to Brazil's economic growth.​​​​​​​

Although he is still recovering from surgery, President Bolsonaro will participate in the 74th session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA 74) on Sep.17.

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