Faced with an increase in burning in the Amazon, Mourão evaluates the return of military personnel to the region – 06/07/2021 – Environment

Faced with the increase in the number of fires in the Amazon, Vice President Hamilton Mourão, who heads the Amazon Council, said this Monday (7) that he is evaluating a new military operation in the region, but this time, it will be leaner .

According to the monitoring of active outbreaks by the Queimadas Program, by Inpe (National Institute for Space Research), the Amazon had 1,166 fire outbreaks in May alone, a record for the month since 2008, since in 2007 1,176 outbreaks were registered. From January until now, there are 4,325.

“It’s not good,” Mourão told reporters. The vice president informed that he asked Defense Minister General Walter Braga Netto for a budget for a lower cost operation than the previous ones, Verde Brasil 1 and Verde Brasil 2.

The idea now would be to make a GLO (Guarantee of Law and Order) leaner, focused “only on the areas where there are major problems”, said Mourão, who is awaiting a response from Braga Netto this Monday.

In February, Mourão announced the withdrawal of troops as of May 1, after a year of military activity in the region.

GLO in Amazônia started in May of last year and has been extended three times. Its end, by decree, was already scheduled for April 30th. It is GLO that allows the Armed Forces to operate in the region.

As Mourão said in February, from May 15, 2020 to January 30 of this year, Operation Verde Brasil 2 had cost around R$ 400 million.

With the departure of the military last month, the idea was that the inspection would be carried out by the own troops of Ibama, ICMBio, Funai, Incra, in addition to the Federal and Federal Highway Police. The staff of environmental agencies, however, are outdated.​​

For the return of the Armed Forces, the authorization of President Jair Bolsonaro is required, with whom Mourão, despite the friction of recent months, intends to talk after a positive signal from Braga Netto.

Mourão said that there are two alternatives for the return of the military: opening a budget action to support the agencies or authorizing a new GLO focused on the most problematic locations.

“Deforestation is taking place in vacant lands, those lands that belong to the Union and that are not distributed. Then there are those people who advance on top, thinking that at some point they will be able to take advantage of this invasion that they made and then have the right to this land. And, most of the time, it’s for sale, right? It’s pure illegality, we have to fight it,” said Mourão.

Asked if he was also discussing the matter with the Minister of the Environment, Ricardo Salles, Mourão replied in an ironic tone.

“Minister Salles has not seen me for a long time,” he said.

Last month, Mourão had already criticized the minister’s absence at a meeting of the Legal Amazon Council. For the deputy, the gesture of the assistant to President Jair Bolsonaro was “lack of education”.

The deputy has previously clashed with Salles, who is the target of a Federal Police operation investigating an alleged illegal timber export scheme.

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