By Amazon Watch
October 29, 2018.- The election today of Jair Bolsonaro to the Brazilian presidency hands the extreme right-wing politician a mandate to enact a series of sweeping changes to the country's political, economic, social, and environmental order.
Responding to the news, Brazil's diverse social movements are mounting resistance to the president's regressive agenda. Thousands of organizations recently united to repudiate his assertion that he "will put an end to all activism in Brazil," while the National Indigenous Movement issued a statement, "In Defense of Democracy and Our Rights." The coming months will prove decisive to the advancement of these two diametrically-opposed visions for Brazil's future.
Amazon Watch Program Director Christian Poirier made the following statement in response to the election results:
"The ascension of the divisive and callous politician Jair Bolsonaro to the presidency poses enormous challenges for democracy, human rights, and environmental preservation in Brazil. His administration could undo decades of hard-fought socio-environmental advances and move the country back toward the dark days of its brutal military dictatorship.
"Bolsonaro's victory represents a profound setback for human rights and ecological preservation in the world's fourth largest democracy, with particularly drastic implications for the Amazon rainforest and its indigenous and traditional communities.
"His reckless plans to industrialize the Amazon in concert with Brazilian and international agribusiness and mining sectors will bring untold destruction to the planet's largest rainforest and the communities who call it home and spell disaster for the global climate.
"The immense scale of the threats posed by a Bolsonaro presidency demands a resounding response from grassroots to global levels. In this spirit, Amazon Watch will redouble its work in solidarity with our embattled partners, from remote communities in the Brazilian Amazon to national organizations to push back against his destructive agenda."