BRASILIA – A group of some 10 Greenpeace activists demonstrated Tuesday in Brasilia against measures promoted by the Michel Temer government that would increase dangers to the environment and speed up the ongoing deforestation of the Amazon.
The protesters gathered in front of Congress, where they displayed a plastic chainsaw 8 meters (26 feet) long, together with a poster that read: “The end of the forests starts here.”
According to Greenpeace, two measures pushed by the Temer government in recent months, and currently being debated in the legislature, call for a major reduction of the protected areas that the country maintains in the Amazon region, to the benefit of big landowners and agriculturists.
By means of these bills, the government seeks to cloak with legality the development of lands that have been protected for decades, and promote productive activities that in any case have already begun in those areas.
According to a statement issued by Greenpeace, those measures are a “threat” while “representing a reward for those who have invaded protected lands illegally” and will promote “further invasions” and an “increase of violence” in the countryside.
In the note, activist Cristiane Mazzeti, spokeswoman for the environmental organization, said that those measures and others being studied by the Temer government, among which she mentioned the proposal to sell Amazon lands for foreign capital, “will set back Brazil’s environmental policies for decades.”