Brazilian President in the fight against organized crime in the Amazon: 'We have to speed up!'

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva called on his government to speed up actions in the Amazon in the fight against organized crime, which has contributed to the destruction of the world’s largest tropical rainforest. Lula complained that it took a year to launch a security plan for the Amazon and added that much still needs to be done to establish an international police center in Manaus.

– We have to speed up the process, because my mandate lasts only four years. If we don’t implement that plan, someone else will come and do nothing – he said at the event where the agreement on financing the security plan with 58.6 million dollars was signed.

The funds come from the $1.3 billion Amazon Fund established by Norway to support sustainability and stop illegal logging in the Amazon. The fund managed by the Brazilian National Development Bank (BNDES) is supported by donations from Germany, Britain, Denmark, the European Union and the USA. The Amazon Security Plan is the first project sponsored by the Fund to fight crime that causes environmental damage in the region.

Eight Amazon basin countries will join the Center for International Police Cooperation, which plans to gather information and coordinate law enforcement using helicopters, river patrol boats and 34 bases to be established across the Amazon. According to the initial plans, the center was supposed to start working in the first half of this year. The rain forest is exposed to systematic destruction due to the illegal logging of gold mines, and the roads used to smuggle drugs and tropical animals pass through it.

Brazil has managed to slow deforestation in the Amazon since Lula became president last year and has tried to re-establish its leading role in the global fight against climate change. During his first year in office, deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon was reduced by 50 percent and fell to the lowest level in five years.

By Editor

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