Brazil is a victim of disinformation about environment, Bolsonaro says

President Jair Bolsonaro said today (Sep. 22) that Brazil is a victim “of one of the most brutal disinformation campaigns about the Amazon and the Pantanal.” In his opening address at the 75th United Nations (UN) General Assembly, Bolsonaro declared there are commercial interests behind the news articles about the fires and deforestation, and that the forests being burnt are common in the current season and the work of local communities in already deforested areas.

“Amazon is known for its richness. This explains the support from international institutions to this campaign founded on shady interests that partner up with opportunistic and unpatriotic associations in Brazil in a bid to harm the government and Brazil itself,” he said. “Brazil is standing out as a major food producer. That’s why there’s been so much interest to spread disinformation about the environment here,” he added.

The president highlighted the strictness of Brazil’s environmental law, but noted the difficulty fighting illegal activities in the Amazon, like fires, wood extraction, and biopiracy, due to the size of its territory. Along with Congress, he pointed out, he has been seeking land regulation in the region, “aiming to identify the perpetrators of such crimes.”

“Our Pantanal, with an area larger than many European countries, or as big as California, suffers from the same problems. The major fires are the inevitable result of the high local temperatures, coupled with the accumulation of organic mass in decay,” he declared.


Amid the pandemic of the novel coronavirus, this General Assembly is being held online. Traditionally, Brazil is the first country to deliver an address, and President Bolsonaro, like the other world leaders, pre-recorded his speech.

He expressed grief over all deaths from COVID-19 and restated the alert that the virus and the economic issues “should be tackled simultaneously and with the same responsibility.” Bolsonaro listed the economic measures implemented by the federal government and said that, under such slogans as “stay at home” and “we’ll talk about the economy later,” Brazilian news outlets “nearly brought social chaos to the country.” “As happened in most of the world, a portion of the press here politicized the virus, disseminating panic among the people,” he argued.

In the president’s view, the pandemic has taught that the production of supplies and essential means for the survival of the population cannot depend on a few nations alone. In this connection, he placed Brazil open to the development of innovative, state-of-the-art technology, including Industry 4.0, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, and 5G technology, “with any partners respecting our sovereignty, and care for the freedom and protection of data.”

Bolsonaro also talked about the expansion of trade deals, both bilateral and with economic blocs, and said that, in his administration, “Brazil is finally letting go of a protectionist tradition and moves towards having commercial opening as a crucial tool for growth and transformation.”

In his speech, the president also mentioned the work done by Brazilians in the humanitarian field as well as in human rights, in addition to the reforms being implemented in the country.



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