Brazil’s Bolsonaro to miss Amazon fires summit
Brasilia, Sep. 3 (IANS): Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro will miss a planned summit on the destructive wildfires ravaging the Amazon rainforest to prepare for surgery, an aide has said.
The operation will be the far-right leader’s fourth after he was stabbed in the stomach during his presidential election campaign in 2018, the BBC reported.
Brazil may send a representative in his place or ask for the summit to be postponed, the spokesman said on Monday.
The surgery is scheduled for Sunday, and Bolsonaro has to start a liquid diet on Friday – the day of the regional conference in Colombia. Doctors said he would need 10 days of rest after the treatment, according to the spokeman.
Speaking to reporters outside his official residence, the President vowed on Monday to defend his Amazon policy “even in a wheelchair” at a UN General Assembly meeting on September 24.
More than 80,000 fires have broken out in the Amazon rainforest this year.
Bolsonaro has drawn intense domestic and international criticism for failing to protect the region, which is a vital carbon store that slows the pace of global warming.
Environmentalists blame policies enacted by the Brazilian President for the 77 per cent increase in fires this year compared with the same period in 2018.
They said that he has encouraged cattle farmers to clear vast swathes of the rainforest since his election.