It’s worth keeping this maxim in mind as one reads the latest annual report from Global Witness, an independent organization that tracks the murders of people around the world who try to resist mining, farming, logging and other powerful industries that savage ecosystems and drive people off their land.
And, farther down:
…Things are not looking much better for 2019. Though Brazil is no longer No. 1 in the number of people killed, the populist president installed in January, Jair Bolsonaro, has vowed to open previously protected indigenous lands to commercial development.
The Times reported on Sunday that the destruction of the Amazon rain forest, which plays a crucial role in absorbing and storing carbon dioxide and thus slowing global warming, has dramatically accelerated under Mr. Bolsonaro, in large part because of deliberately lax enforcement of laws and regulations.
Mr. Bolsonaro simply dismisses his own government’s data on deforestation as lies.
“The Amazon is ours, not yours”, he told a foreign journalist.
Mr. Duterte and Mr. Bolsonaro were two of the new breed of populist leaders Global Witness identified as contributing to worsening the plight of those who defend the land, through their disdain for the environment and hostility to dissenters.