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Brazil extends the presence of the Armed Forces in the Amazon to fight fires

September 21, 2019


The president of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, has signed on Friday a decree that extends the authorization of the Armed Forces in the Amazon for a month to fight the worst outbreak of fires in the Amazon jungle since 2010.

The initiative, which entered into force on August 24, will end next Tuesday, when Bolsonaro will intervene at the opening of the United Nations General Assembly (UN) and will be extended until October 24.

The decree authorizes the action “in border areas, in indigenous lands, in federal environmental conservation units and in other areas of the states of the Amazon that require it,” according to the Brazilian newspaper 'O Globo'. These areas include Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, Mato Grosso, Pará, Rondônia, Roraima and Tocantins and part of Maranhão.

The fires in the Amazon have caused the Brazilian president to have been criticized for his management in protecting one of the key bulwarks against climate change worldwide.

Bolsonaro who took office last January promising to bring progress to the Amazon has long criticized indigenous reserves and environmental fines, considering that they are a brake on development.

The Brazilian president has also looked down on the NGOs that work in the Amazon and has even accused them of causing the fires.