Lula calls for “agility” to combat organized crime in the Brazilian Amazon

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva asked his government last Monday to “speed” in the fight against criminal organizations in the Amazon that are contributing to deforestation in the world’s largest rainforest.

“Never before in the history of Brazil have we considered taking such an extraordinary step to try to take care of the Amazon as is the case now,” Lula said when he led in Brasilia the signing of a contract awarding 318 million reais ($58.7 million). ) To expand the presence of state forces in this territory, which has an area of ​​6.3 million square kilometers, 60% of which is located in Brazil.

But he asked to “quickly turn” that plan into reality, which his government launched in July last year with a planned budget of 1.2 billion Brazilian reais ($222 million).

The leftist president, who will hand over power at the end of 2026, warned that “if it takes another year (to implement it), we will end the mandate without putting the plan into effect.”

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The Amazon Plan: Security and Sovereignty considers strengthening equipment, such as boats and helicopters, to combat criminal organizations that cut down and burn the forest.

The contract was made between the National Bank for Economic Development and the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, and the resources come from the Amazon Fund, financed mainly by Norway and Germany.

The security plan also includes the establishment of an international police cooperation center in Manaus, the heart of the Brazilian Amazon, which includes intelligence officials from the nine countries located in the vast jungle region.

Environment Minister Marina Silva said increased state monitoring capacity allowed deforestation to be reduced by half in 2023, the first year of Lula’s return to power.

But he repeated the call to other countries to stop pollution.

“If the world does not do its part by reducing carbon dioxide emissions based on the use of fossil fuels, we will lose the Amazon anyway because it may enter the savannah process,” Silva said.

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Lula promised to end illegal deforestation in Brazil by 2030.


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