Amazon Watch: Brazil’s Political Chaos

Brazil’s Political Chaos Paves the Way for Environmental Plunder

As Brazil’s President Michel Temer weathers a new storm of corruption allegations that threaten to topple his administration, the rightwing ruralista (elite agribusiness) congressional bloc is cynically leveraging this political chaos to ram through its regressive and malicious agenda. From slashing forest protections to dismantling Brazil’s indigenous agency to undoing the the country’s environmental licensing standards, ruralista lawmakers and their industry backers are waging an all-out war on hard-fought and fundamental environmental and human rights safeguards enshrined in Brazil’s Constitution and legislation.

While an illegitimate president with a 4% approval rating battles for political survival before a population weathering economic recession and weary with rampant and ingrained corruption, powerful political actors and their big-business backers are brazenly attempting to rewrite Brazil’s social and environmental contract. And the stakes couldn’t be higher for the Amazon and its peoples, where the impacts of these changes would disproportionately fall.