2019-08-28 12:46:11

How Jair Bolsonaro’s Policies Led to Fires in the Amazon

In Brazil, fires continue to rage in the Amazon, and new drone footage shows the smoke and flames gathering strength.

A vast plume of smoke has spread across South America and the Atlantic Ocean and is visible from space. The fires are also destroying large swaths of land in Bolivia.

The fires are unprecedented in recorded history, and environmentalists say most of the fires were deliberately set by illegal miners and cattle ranchers.

So far this year, there have been nearly 73,000 fires in Brazil, with over half of them in the Amazon region — an 83% increase from the same period last year.

Far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has worked to deregulate and open up the Amazon for agribusiness, logging and mining since he came into office in January, and indigenous peoples in the country say they are on the frontlines of the destruction.

Democracy Now! speaks with Maria Luísa Mendonça, director of the Network for Social Justice and Human Rights in Brazil.

Agribusiness Amazon Rainforest Amy Goodman Atlantic Ocean Brazil Climate Change Democracy Now! Fires Free Speech TV Jair Bolsonaro Logging Maria Luísa Mendonça Mining Network for Social Justice and Human Rights South America

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