Brazil will send military to fight deforestation and fires in the Amazon

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SAO PAULO / BRASILIA, Apr 29 (Reuters) – Brazil wants to activate the Army to fight deforestation and fires in the Amazon, the country’s vice president said on Wednesday, as part of plans to protect the world’s largest rainforest and where destruction increased last year.

Vice President Hamilton Mourão affirmed that the country would invoke the same measure that allowed the Army to fight the forest fires of last year, a Decree of Guarantee of Law and Order (GLO) that must be signed by President Jair Bolsonaro.

Deforestation in the Amazon peaked at 11 years last year, when fires consumed the rainforest and prompted international criticism that Brazil was not doing enough to protect the biome.

Mourão said the country would establish permanent bases in the Amazon during the year that, in addition to the Army, would involve federal and state police, environmental agencies and the national security force.

“We already have a practically finished plan for an initiative against deforestation and to prevent fires that start in July and August,” said Mourão.

The vice president did not provide details on when the decree would be enacted. The government has identified seven regions as priorities for the fight against the destruction of the Amazon, he said.

(Report by Eduardo Simoes and Jake Spring; Edited in Spanish by Ricardo Figueroa)

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