The Deforestation of Brazil’s Amazon – Global Research


12-08-20 05:06:00,

The latest INPE (National Institute for Space Research) deforestation data for the Brazilian Amazon, released last Friday, comes as the result of the policies of President Jair Bolsonaro, say critics. According to DETER, INPE’s real-time forest monitoring system, from August 1, 2019 to July 31, 2020, forest loss in the region totaled 9,205 square kilometers (3.554 square miles), an increase of 34.5% over the previous comparative period (2018/2019), when 6,844 square kilometers (2,642 square miles) were deforested.

DETER detected 1,654 square kilometers of forest cleared in July, 2020 alone, a decline from the 2,255 square kilometers detected the same month a year ago. Still, forest loss in the region makes the 2019/2020 deforestation year the highest since at least 2007.

“Reaching the middle of the year with so many [deforested] open areas means that this year’s official deforestation rate [to be confirmed by the Prodes system, also from INPE, in November] will be higher than last year, which hit double digits, reaching to almost 11,000 square kilometers (4,247 square miles). We can reach a number not seen by Brazil for over a decade,” stated the Institute of Environmental Research of the Amazon (IPAM).

This “season in the Amazon will not be recovered,” added Ane Alencar, IPAM director of Science. “Whoever clears the forest wants to recover their investment, and that involves burning deforested vegetation to clear the land, which will happen sooner or later, with or without a fire moratorium. Curbing fires begins with controlling deforestation.”

Most Amazon fires are set by people, and used as a tool to convert forest to agricultural lands.

Meeting between Vice President Hamilton Mourão and members of the Committee and the Board of Directors of Santander Brasil Bank in Brasília. July 23, 2020. Image by Romério Cunha/VPR (Vice Presidency of the Republic).

Also in July, the Bolsonaro government dismissed INPE researcher Lubia Vinhas, general coordinator of the department responsible for monitoring Amazon deforestation. But when asked about last month’s decrease in deforestation in relation to the firing, experts agreed that they believe the statistics to be accurate and legitimate.

“There is no indication or reason for INPE to publish politically influenced data.

 » Lees verder

Escobar: Brazil’s “Money Laundering Scandal From Hell” That No One Wants To Talk About


25-07-20 06:47:00,

Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Two decades after the fact, a political earthquake that should be rocking Brazil apart is being met with thunderous silence…

What is now described as the Banestado leaks and the CC5gate is straight out of vintage WikiLeaks: a list, published for the first time in full, naming names and detailing what is one of the biggest corruption and money laundering cases in the world for the past three decades.

This scandal allows for the healthy practice of what Michel Foucault characterized as the archeology of knowledge. Without understanding these leaks, it’s impossible to place in the proper context the sophisticated Hybrid War unleashed by Washington on Brazil initially via NSA spying on President Dilma Roussef’s first term (2010-2014), all the way to the subsequent Car Wash corruption investigation that jailed Lula and opened the way for the election of neofascist patsy Jair Bolsonaro as President.

The scoop on this George Orwell does Hybrid War plotline is due, once again, to independent media: the small website Duplo Expresso, led by young, daring Bern-based international lawyer Romulus Maya, which first published the list.

An epic 5-hour podcast assembled the three key protagonists who denounced the scandal in the first place, back in the late 1990s, and now are able to re-analyze it: then Governor of Parana state Roberto Requiao; federal prosecutor Celso Tres; and police superintendent, now retired, Jose Castilho Neto.

Previously, in another podcast, Maya and anthropologist Piero Leirner, Brazil’s foremost analyst of Hybrid War, briefed me on the myriad political intricacies of the leaks while we discussed geopolitics in the Global South.

The CC5 lists are herehere, and here. Let’s see what makes them so special.

The mechanism

Way back in 1969, the Brazilian Central Bank created what was described as a “CC5 account” to facilitate foreign companies and executives to legally wire assets overseas. For many years the cash flow in these accounts was not significant. Then everything changed in the 1990s – with the emergence of a massive,

 » Lees verder

Brazil’s Amazon Guardians Respond to Killing of Paulo Paulino – Global Research


18-11-19 03:54:00,

We’ve lost a great warrior in our fight. They murdered our friend, our brother, our tireless companion in the defence of the forest, Paulo Paulino “Lobo” Guajajara.

We’re mourning and our hearts are hurting.

Lobo was killed because he defended our land. Our forest that gives us everything. Our forest without which we cannot live. Lobo was killed for defending life.

There is so much evil in this world. The loggers want to kill us to steal our trees and make money. We are not violent to them, but they are heavily armed. They threaten us. They kill us. They killed our friends, our fellow Guardians Cantidi, Assis and Afonso. And now they’ve killed Lobo.

But his death will not be in vain. It makes us sad and angry, but it gives us strength. One more warrior has been planted in the soil. It will give us the strength to keep fighting to protect our forest for our families, and for the survival of our uncontacted Awá relatives. We will never give up.

We cannot give up because we have a great battle ahead. The government has declared itself our enemy. President Bolsonaro said he will not protect indigenous lands. He and others want to open our land to agribusiness. We will never accept that!

We want the government to fulfil its duty to help us defend our forest from illegal invaders and destruction. We want proper security for our land and our lives.

We want the government to investigate Lobo’s murder, and the attack on him and our fellow Guardian Tainaky. We want the killers and the logging mafias behind bars.

We’ve been denouncing the threats and crimes against us for a long time. Lobo and all of us Guardians had often warned the authorities that we could be attacked and killed at any time. Nothing was done. And Lobo was murdered.

Where is justice? We demand justice!

We will continue our struggle to rid our land of loggers. We know it’s working. We’re managing to greatly reduce the destruction.

The protection of our land and its biodiversity has always been our struggle and always will be.

 » Lees verder

How the US Contributed to Brazil’s Return to Fascism


16-12-18 05:25:00,

War & Peace

“Alexa, Drop a Bomb”: Amazon Wants in on US Warfare

Environment & Health

Until We Confront Capitalism, We Will Not Solve the Climate Crisis

Environment & Health

Should Plant-Based Proteins Be Called “Meat”?

Environment & Health

Federal Court’s Affordable Care Act Ruling Bolsters Case for Medicare for All


He Said He’d Be Murdered If Deported. He Was.

Politics & Elections

How the US Contributed to Brazil’s Return to Fascism

Brazil’s President-elect Jair Bolsonaro greets people during his visit to the Superior Court of Labour in Brasilia, on November 13, 2018. Sergio Lima / AFP / Getty Images

Janine Jackson: Welcome to CounterSpin, your weekly look behind the headlines. I’m Janine Jackson.

This week on CounterSpin: Brazil’s new president, Jair Bolsonaro, has said he supports dictatorship and torture, that religious and ethnic “minorities must fit in or simply disappear,” that his political opponents should “leave or go to jail,” that the only problem with Brazil’s military dictatorship is that they didn’t kill enough people, that police should have “carte blanche” to kill whoever they like, and that he’d rather his own son be dead than be gay. The analysis offered by a Washington Post headline, then, that “Bolsonaro’s Victory May Mean Further Shifts in Tolerance and Moderation,” might seem to be a bad joke, were it not that such pieces are all some US media consumers may encounter.

Migrants at the southern border seeking asylum from violence fomented by US policy underscore that we really are one world, interrelated. So how are US readers to understand what’s happening in Brazil, and its American flag-saluting, rape joke-making, Hitler-admiring president?

* * *

Here to help us understand some of this is Brian Mier. He’s an editor at Brasil Wire and editor of the book Voices of the Brazilian Left. He’s a regular correspondent for the radio show This Is Hell, as well as a freelance writer and producer. He joins us now by phone from São Paulo. Welcome to CounterSpin, Brian Mier.

Brian Mier: Hi, how are you?

JJ: When twice-elected Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff was being pushed out,

 » Lees verder

Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s Political Nightmare: a Neo-Nazi ‘Phenomenon’ Made in the USA – Global Research

Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil’s Political Nightmare: a Neo-Nazi ‘Phenomenon’ Made in the USA – Global Research

26-10-18 06:32:00,

“Not even the military dictatorship defended an ideology which is so openly fascist like Bolsonaro does today. He does not care about being compared to Hitler,” Michael Löwy.

“It is difficult to explain the emergence of a phenomenon best described as pathological politics on a large scale” according to French-Brazilian sociologist Michael Löwy, in an interview when asked about Jair Bolsonaro’s ascension, Brazil’s presidential candidate whose great-grandfather was a Nazi soldier.

A former lawmaker that delivered just two bills across almost three decades, as a presidential candidate now Bolsonaro promises, among many other fascist “policies” layered in a total lack of project to the country as he refuses to debate, to make the “police free to kill” without any investigation. 

The candidate of the Liberal Social Party (PSL, totally in favor of privatizations, and deeply nationalist) who leads the polls, has once said that a civil war is the only solution for Brazil. Bolsonaro often attacks his opponents with much violence, especially leftists and homosexuals promising a “zero tolerance” against them once he is elected, which includes torture and assassination. 

Not surprisingly, the nation is living a vertiginous growing of violence of the eve of the second round of the election.

‘Enigmas’ Flying Over the South-American Giant

In June of 2013, Brazil lived its social “Spring”: another sociological “enigma”: hardly explained up to date, it was very similar to others all over the world whose multitudes did not know exactly why, how and to what they suddenly took to the streets (as teleSUR showed interviewing Brazilian citizens at the time).

Movements which have produced around the world, cooperated by the mainstream media – locally and internationally distorting facts, or not putting news in context: the minimization of the rule of law hurting civil liberties, increasing repression, corruption, and foreign influence.

Filled with hate, resentment, discrimination, and violence including by State forces, sometimes infiltrated among people: even those protests, an important part to overthrow the then-President Dilma Rousseff three years later and to boost Bolsonaro, were a consequence of dark winds blowing from the offshore against the South-American giant. 

“The stranger, of course, is not the fascist preaching of an individual, but the adhesion of a large part of the electorate to these ideas,” observed the sociologist based in Paris. 

 » Lees verder

Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro Accused of Widespread Electoral Fraud

Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro Accused of Widespread Electoral Fraud

19-10-18 05:49:00,

An investigative story published by the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo today proves that companies are paying for WhatsApp bulk messaging services to spread fake news and attack ads against the Workers’ Party (PT). According to the article, companies are planning a big operation for the week before the runoff election in Brazil, which will be held on Oct. 28.

The companies are supporting the far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro and using lists of mobile contacts sold by digital strategy agencies and also the presidential hopeful’s own database. The law, however, only allows candidates to use their own lists of contacts provided voluntarily by individuals.

To send hundreds of millions of messages, contracts are worth as high as R$12 million (more than US$3.2 million). One of the companies hiring these services is Havan, owned by Luciano Hang, who has reportedly been forcing his employees to vote for Jair Bolsonaro. Hiring this kind of services can be considered illegal campaign contributions from corporations if they are proven to have links with the Social Liberal Party candidate.

João Meira, who holds a master’s degree in Political Law, explains that the elections could be annulled due to illegal campaign practices and abuse of economic power.

Meira argues that, with a fierce WhatsApp campaign and the “industry of lies” established around it, it is virtually impossible to control what kind of content is shared and, if the accusations are proven true, “the fraud completely taints the election process.” “If Bolsonaro and his campaign are proven to be associated with the actions of those groups of people who committed unlawful acts, even if he is elected, he can be impeached and be ineligible to run for eight years,” the expert says.

While some of the agencies reported to be sending mass WhatsApp messages include Quickmobile, Yacows, Croc Services, and SMS Market, Bolsonaro’s financial disclosures only include the company AM4 Brasil Inteligência Digital, which was paid R$115,000 (nearly US$31,000) to provide digital media services.

According to Folha, the services are between R$0.08 and R$0.12 (US$0.02-0.03) per message sent to contact numbers from the candidate’s own list and R$0.30 to R$0.40 (US$0.08-0.11) per message when the list of contacts is provided by the agency.

 » Lees verder

The CIA Has Its Fingerprints on Brazil’s Election

The CIA Has Its Fingerprints on Brazil’s Election

09-10-18 08:10:00,

Editor’s note: Far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro won the first round of Brazil’s presidential election with 46 percent of the vote. A runoff will be held on Oct. 28.

The growth of Bolsonarian fascism in the final stretch of the election campaign, turbo charged by an avalanche of fake news disseminated on the internet, is not surprising. It is an old tactic developed by American and British intelligence agencies, with the goal of manipulating public opinion and influencing political processes and elections. It was used in the Ukraine, in the Arab Spring and in Brazil during 2013.

There is science behind this manipulation.

Some people think that elections are won or lost only in rigorously rational debates about policies and proposals. But things don’t really work that way. In reality, as Emory University Psychology Professor Drew Weston says in his book “The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation”, feelings are commonly more decisive in defining the vote.

Weston says that, based on recent studies in neuroscience on the theme, contrary to what is commonly understood, the human brain makes decisions mainly based on emotions. The voters strongly base their choices on emotional perceptions about parties and candidates. Rational analysis and empirical data normally plays a secondary role in this process.

This is why there is great manipulative power in the production of information with strong emotional content and fake news.

The documents revealed by Edward Snowden prove that the US and UK intelligence services have specialized and sophisticated departments that are dedicated to manipulating information that circulates on the internet to change the direction of public opinion. For example, the Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group of the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), a British intelligence agency, has a mission and scope that includes the use of “dirty tricks” to destroy, negate, degrade and run over its enemies.

The tactics are, in short: 1) To disseminate all kinds of false information on the internet to destroy the reputation of its targets; and 2) Use social sciences and other psycho-social techniques to manipulate the online discourse and activism, with the goal of generating desirable results.

But this isn’t just any type of information.

 » Lees verder