, 16 tweets, 7 min read
Here's some background info on Brazilian environmental minister @rsallesmma, the man responsible for protecting the largest area of the Amazon rain forest. Thread:
Born into a wealthy family in São Paulo, Salles founded the right-wing "Endireita Brasil" movement. He ran for Congress for the pro-market NOVO party in 2018, on a campaign of using bullets "against the left" and rural activists, as this poster shows. He lost.
Salles had also been accused of fraud during a previous role. The far-right Jair Bolsonaro, one of the most extreme figures in global electoral politics, appointed him Minister of the Environment anyways. When he began, he had never once stepped foot in the Amazon.
But before he started, he was convicted of misconduct. While state environmental secretary in São Paulo, he altered an environmental map in order to benefit mining interests, the authorities found. noticias.uol.com.br/meio-ambiente/…
Salles liked to tout his fancy, expensive foreign education. He signed an article saying he had a Master's degree from Yale. Turns out he never studied there. jota.info/jotinhas/minis…
The ascendance of Salles and Bolsonaro was a clear sign to cattle ranchers and loggers that they would be able to get away with a lot more deforestation. Weeks ago, new data indicated people in the Amazon were doing exactly that nytimes.com/2019/07/28/wor…
Bolsonaro responded by firing the head of the scientific body responsible for reporting such data. theguardian.com/world/2019/aug…
Here's an article I did this week on the rise of radical Bolsonarismo and the politicization of Brazil's institutions:
There are fires ever year in the Amazon during the dry season. But they jumped 77% this year, creating clouds that blacken the skies across Brazil. That is because Salles and Bolsonaro emboldened those prone to illegal destruction nytimes.com/2019/08/21/wor…
We're talking about 70,000 fires and a country that is twice as big as the European Union, so you can't just put them out. They're controlled arson, and they'll stop when the arsonists always planned for them to stop, which is soon anyways. Background:
#FF @rsallesmma - Here is Ricardo Salles last night retweeting an attack on Emmanuel Macron and simply adding the hashtag - and I am not making this up - "We are all Ricardo Salles"
@rsallesmma Fact check: we are not all Ricardo Salles
@rsallesmma The vast majority of Brazilians (and the vast majority of Bolsonaro supporters) want their government to combat deforestation, so don't try out any facile "concern for the Amazon is colonialism" takes please. It's also concern for Brazil's democracy bbc.com/portuguese/bra…
@rsallesmma That being said, it is extremely unhelpful to suggest (or even joke) that richer countries should invade or buy the Amazon in order to preserve it. Fear that this could happen someday is what led Brazil's dictatorship to put so many white people there in the first place.
@rsallesmma The slogan was "integrar para não entregar," which means basically, "Integrate [the Amazon] rather than lose it" and consisted of developments and resettlement. wwf.org.br/informacoes/no…
@rsallesmma Any suggestions that Brazil should lose the Amazon can (and will be) used by military nationalists for propaganda purposes. The solution is Brazilian democracy, and the excellent scientists and environmentalists that country already has nytimes.com/2014/11/09/wor…
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