Brazil’s president has launched a strong defence of his far-right government while on a visit to Saudi Arabia, blasting any criticism of his policies on recent fires in the Amazon region.
Jair Bolsonaro also criticised French president Emmanuel Macron in a speech on Wednesday before the Future Investment Initiative in the kingdom, while praising American leader Donald Trump.
Bolsonaro at one point said: “The Amazon region belongs to us.”
Scientists say the vast rainforest is a bulwark against global warming as its lush vegetation absorbs heat-trapping carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
The moisture given off by its trees also affects rainfall patterns and climate across South America and beyond.
International outcry earlier this year led Bolsonaro to ban Amazon farmers from lighting fires for 60 days and send federal troops to help combat the blazes.
We need your help ...
The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.
Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.
We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.
Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?