Analysis: Bolsonaro administration hinders enforcement of fines key to protecting Brazil’s Amazon

Under a decree issued by Bolsonaro shortly after assuming office, individuals and companies accused of environmental crimes after October 2018 are entitled to “reconciliation hearings” that can reduce or cancel penalties.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - (REUTERS) Brazil under President Jair Bolsonaro has obstructed the system for environmental fines, one of the main instruments for punishing those who illegally cut down the Amazon rainforest, according to government documents and insiders.

Under a presidential decree issued by Bolsonaro shortly after assuming office, individuals and companies accused of environmental crimes after October 2018 are entitled to “reconciliation hearings” that can reduce or cancel penalties.

Yet a backlog of more than 17,000 fines has piled up, going uncollected as they await hearings, according to internal documents seen by Reuters and confirmed by two sources . . .

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