Photo: Mauro Pimentel Agence France-Presse
The murder of Chico Mendes and the indignation he has aroused are often referred to as the turning point for the establishment of forest reserves and brakes to the deforestation of the Amazon.
This is bad news for the Amazon, when the new brazilian minister of the Environment declares that he does not know about Chico Mendes who, in addition to being a defender, known worldwide for the Amazon and the rights of workers, has given its name to a research institute, and conservation… which is under the aegis of the ministry of the Environment.
Mendes was murdered in 1988 on the orders of a landowner and breeder of cattle. This murder — and the international indignation it has aroused, is often referred to as the turning point for the institution, in the decade that followed, forest reserves and brakes to the deforestation of the Amazon. “I don’t know Chico Mendes “, said on tv last week the minister of the Environment, Ricardo Salles. Pressed to explain, he clarified that he knew who it was, but that his role in the recent history of Brazil and his murder were not “relevant” in these discussions.
Environmentalists like him a lot, while the local farmers criticize it, “he said,” because he was looking out for its own interests “. “What difference does it make “, who Chico Mendes really was ? the minister continued, triggering a volley of criticism from environmentalists.