Doug Specht, Senior Lecturer in Media and Communications, wrote an article for Diplomatist about Jair Bolsonaro’s political standpoints and their relation to the recent catastrophic fires across the Amazon.

Doug Specht

Though the fires in the Amazon are no longer part of the major headlines, Specht notes that further destruction continues. He said: “The political and economic policies of Brazil and the rest of the world remain, and without an examination of these, we will see further destruction of the Amazon and other resources vital to human existence.”

He also says the blame many are putting on Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and environmental minister Ricardo Salles is justifiable, as “policies enacted by the pair have not only permitted fires but have actively encouraged them.”

He added: “Fires are being encouraged in order to make space for agribusiness, logging and other extractive industries, all part of a push to boost the economy of Brazil.” He also notes that Bolsonaro’s campaign to get into power was heavily funded by Brazil’s hugely powerful agribusiness. 

He noted that the Amazon has long been exploited, much of this being down to rich corporations in the Northern hemisphere. He said: “The fires in the Amazon are no accident, they were started by Bolsonaro, but they are fanned by the winds of capitalism and free trade.”

Read the full article on the CAMRI website.

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