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Bolsonaro says NGOs could be causing fires in the Amazon

August 21, 2019

SAO PAULO, 21 Aug. (EUROPA PRESS) –

The president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, has implied that NGOs could be causing the numerous fires that have been recorded in the Amazon rainforest because they are upset after their government withdrew their funding, although it has not offered evidence to prove it .

According to the president, NGO workers “have felt affected by the lack of money” after their government withdrew their funds and “there would be, I am not affirming, criminal action” of these people “to get attention against me, against the Government of Brazil. ”

Expressly asked by journalists about whether he was accusing NGOs of the fires, Bolsonaro responded: “We have to fight crime, then we will see who is responsible.” “But, in my view, there are interests of those NGOs, which represent interests outside Brazil,” he added, according to the newspaper 'O Globo'.

The president has also criticized the governors of the states in which the Amazon is located. “There is a governor, I do not want to give the name, which is connivent with what is happening and blames the federal government,” he denounced.

“There are states there, which I don't want to mention, in the north, in which the governor is not moving a finger to help fight fires.” “He is enjoying it,” he said in statements at the Palacio de Alvorada.

Forest fires have reached a record 72,843 this year in Brazil, according to a study by the INPE space research center, which has confirmed an increase of 83 percent compared to the same period in 2018. This is a figure unpublished since they began this type of records in 2013.

INPE warned on Tuesday that, since Thursday alone, satellites have detected 9,507 new forest fires, mainly in the Amazon Basin, home to the world's largest tropical forest and which is considered vital to counteract global warming.

The images show the northern state of Roraima covered with dark smoke. The Amazon said on August 9 an emergency in the south and in its capital, Manaus, while Acre, on the border with Peru, has been in environmental alarm since Friday by fires.

Forest fires have also increased in Mato Grosso and Pará, two agricultural states that have pushed agriculture towards the Amazon basin and where deforestation has been stimulated.