Brazil gov’t creates task force against Amazon deforesters

The legal team will work for six months in nine states

Published in 25/09/2019 - 14:49 By Mariana Tokarnia - Brasília

The Brazilian government unveiled a new task force to work on motions to enforce environmental policies in the nine Brazilian states of the Amazon Forest. The initiative will last six months and target deforesters and other environmental offenders.

Brazil’s Attorney-General André Luiz de Almeida Mendonça, who signed the legislation forming the team, said the initiative will encompass 12 measures brought forward between 2015 and 2019 against large-scale deforesters. Together, they include fines adding up to $50 million imposed by watchdogs.

Immediate impact

“We’re bringing these actions from common, everyday deliberations at the prosecutor-general’s office to a focused group,” Mendonça said, adding that the measures were selected as they are expected to take immediate effect.

Most fines are said to have been handed out to landowners in the states of Roraima, Mato Grosso, Pará, and Rondônia.

“We must not conform. The Office of the Attorney-General must make its contribution to protect the environment,” Mendonça declared. “We’re bringing in an elite legal team and the best we have in terms of information management to locate the assets and the property of these debtors.”

The task force will comprise 15 prosecutors from the Office of the Attorney-General and five from the Office of the Prosecutor-General, who may do on-call shifts when necessary.

To enhance their work and devise future strategies, the measures will be assessed at the end of the year and after six months.

Translation: Fabrício Ferreira -  Edition: Fábio Massalli / Augusto Queiroz

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