Amazonian Federal Police Superintendent Alexandre Saraiva has filed a lawsuit against Environment Minister Ricardo Salles and Senator Telmario Mota for allegedly obstructing government oversight over environmental crimes such as illegal logging.
The lawsuit has been filed with the Brazilian Supreme Court, which, according to the G1 news portal, must now decide whether to open an investigation into Salles and Mota or to archive the case.
At the end of 2020, more than 20,000 cubic meters of wood were confiscated as part of the “Handroanthus” operation. Salles and Mota have since issued statements in violation of the police operation that led to the seizure and defended the apparent legality of the material and the loggers being investigated.
In March, the minister visited the region and met with loggers to discuss the problem. He then wrote a series of posts on social media advocating a speedy resolution of the case.
The police accuse Salles and Mota of having formed an alliance with the timber sector “to hinder the investigation of environmental crimes and to seek sponsorship of private and illegitimate interests before the public administration”.
For example, he has stated that the two’s main argument – that the land from which the wood was extracted is legal and that extraction is authorized – is not true, as the land came from land grabbing.
Saraiva has also stated that Mota made allegations against him via Twitter. “Minister Ricardo de Aquinos Salles and Senator Telmário Mota make it consciously and voluntarily and in a design unit difficult for the authority to examine environmental issues and directly promote private interests (of lumberjacks) and to be illegitimate in front of the public administration, to exploit their qualities as civil servants “has manifested.
For his part, the Senator has accused Saraiva of “looking for celebrities” in the lawsuit, declaring it to be “unfounded and only intended to gain space on the media and social networks,” and denies the commission of any crime.