Jair Bolsonaro’s neglect of the Amazon has made him “the most despised and detested leader” on earth, Brazil’s former environment minister has claimed, as the far-right leader again rebuked French president Emmanuel Macron for challenging his environmental record.
Rubens Ricupero warned Bolsonaro was wreaking havoc on both Brazil’s environment and its global standing, as Bolsonaro used Facebook to scold Macron’s “inappropriate and gratuitous attacks” over the Amazon fires and insult France’s first lady.
“These people are lunatics,” Ricupero said of Bolsonaro’s administration in an interview with the Guardian.
“In my opinion, he has turned himself into the most despised and detested leader in the world. I can’t see anyone else – not even Duterte in the Philippines … not Trump, not anyone – who today provokes so much anger.”
“Never, in more than 50 years of our history, has there been a disaster involving Brazil’s image and the perception of Brazil so serious and probably so irremediable as this one,” added Ricupero, who was also Brazil’s finance minister and ambassador to the United States.
“Even in the military period – when Brazil had a negative image above all because of human rights, torture and disappearances – what went on here never drew so much attention as now.”
On Friday, amid a barrage of domestic and international censure, Bolsonaro ordered Brazilian troops to the Amazon to help contain the conflagration and professed “profound love” for a region environmentalists accuse him of helping destroy.
But Bolsonaro has continued to dismiss the crisis as a campaign of “fake news” and “disinformation” designed to discredit his government. [Continue reading…]