The Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, he affirmed again on Thursday that the Amazon is from Brazil and replied like this to Pope Francisco, who in social networks said that jungle region, considered one of the lungs of the planet, belongs to everyone and needs global attention.
"A council was created this week to protect, preserve and develop our Amazon … it is very important to take preventive measures against any action that is not under Brazilian law," Bolsonaro said in his weekly live broadcast through the Facebook social network.
"The Amazon is ours and we want to preserve it and make it possible for us to benefit from the resources in a sustainable way," he added in response to the pontiff's publication.
On Wednesday, Francisco wrote on his Twitter profile: "I address this exhortation to the entire world, to help spark esteem and appeal to the Amazon, which is also 'ours'",
"I dream of an Amazon that fights for the rights of the poorest, of the native peoples, of the latter, so that their voice is heard and their dignity promoted. #QueridaAmazonia", the pontiff completed.
It is not the first time that Bolsonaro, leader of the extreme right in his country and repeatedly criticized for his anti-environmentalist policy, crosses words with the Pope.
– Pope Francis (@Pontifex) February 12, 2020
Last year, when forest fires devastated much of the Amazon, Francisco raised his voice and called to save that part of the planet.
"We are all concerned about the vast fires that have occurred in the Amazon. Pray that, with everyone's effort, they will be controlled as soon as possible. That forest lung is vital to our planet," the pope said in August during his message. Sunday, an appeal that was criticized by Bolsonaro.
Bolsonaro also attacked on Thursday against the environmental organization Greenpeace, which he called "crap" and "garbage" for his criticism of the National Council of the Legal Amazon modified by the head of state and does not include the governors of the region.
The controversy arose as a result of Bolsonaro transferring control of the Amazon Council from the Ministry of Environment to the Vice Presidency of the Republic, whose head, the general in the Hamilton Mourao reserve, entrusted him with actions for protection and development sustainable of the largest tropical forest on the planet.
For Greenpeace, the new council, without civil representatives, "or plans, goals or budget", only seeks to deceive public opinion and international investors, since it will not end the "anti-environmental policy" of the Bolsonaro Government or fight against deforestation or environmental crimes.
Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon jumped 85% last year, from 4,219.3 square kilometers in 2018 to 9,165.6 square kilometers in 2019, its highest level since 2016, according to satellite measurements from the state National Research Institute Space (INPE).
This growth was attributed by environmentalists to the measures of flexibility of control and the anti-environmental rhetoric of Bolsonaro, which defends the economic exploitation of the Amazon and the end of the demarcation of new indigenous reserves.