This story excerpt was translated from Portuguese. To read the original story in full, visit Repórter Brasil. You may also view the original story on the Rainforest Journalism Fund website here. Our website is available in English, Spanish, bahasa Indonesia, French, and Portuguese.
The mayor of Campinápolis (MT) deforested an area equivalent to 420 soccer fields in the Parabubure IT, Brazil, without Ibama's approval. Machines and fuel were supplied by the management of Mauro Mendes, the governor favored for reelection
The government of Mato Grosso provided agricultural machines and donated fuel for the city hall of Campinápolis to clear, without an environmental license, about 300 hectares of native forest inside the Parabubure Indigenous Land (TI), 610 km from Cuiabá, for the cultivation of grains. The action had the support of the head of the Xavante Regional Coordination of Funai (National Indian Foundation), but is questioned by officials who work in the inspection and point to possible environmental crime.
The felling of the forest occurred in March and April and was identified by local Funai agents, according to a statement by the Segat (Service of Environmental and Territorial Management) of the Xavante regional office, obtained by the report. "This Segat is unaware of any authorized deforestation activity in the referred area," says the document, which considers the situation "serious." "The tractors present at the deforestation site are identified with Mato Grosso State government stickers."
As a nonprofit journalism organization, we depend on your support to fund coverage of Indigenous issues and communities. Donate any amount today to become a Pulitzer Center Champion and receive exclusive benefits!
The mayor's office of Campinápolis acknowledges that it deforested the site without authorization from Ibama (Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources), but says that the environmental license would not be necessary in this case, because the action is part of a policy of the Jair Bolsonaro (PL) government to implement mechanized farming on indigenous lands and would have the support of Funai and the Mato Grosso secretariats of environment and agriculture. The state is governed by Mauro Mendes (União Brasil), one of the governors closest to Bolsonaro, both candidates for reelection in 2022 and enthusiasts of mechanized planting on indigenous lands.