Brazil’s Bolsonaro Could Face Hague Trial for Amazon Ecocide

Brazil's Bolsonaro Could Face Hague Trial for Amazon Ecocide

The controversial President has overseen a massive increase in environmental destruction - Image Source: Twitter

A REQUEST has been submitted to the world’s most serious criminal court in the Hague to have Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro tried for “ecocide” in the Amazon.

William Bourdan, a lawyer based in Paris, submitted the application to have Brazillian strongman Jair Bolsonary charged by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on behalf of indigenous groups and environmental activists based in the Amazon.

Ecocide refers to crimes that have caused vast and long-term damage to an environment and its people. In this case, Bolsonaro has been accused of overseeing the widespread destruction of Earth’s biggest rainforest during his controversial Presidency.

Since the former military man came to power in 2018, deforestation of the Amazon has increased by an alarming 50%. Meanwhile invasions of indigenous land, home to Brazil’s tribal communities, have shot up by 135%, with 18 murders connected to land disputes recorded in 2020.

Bolsonaro has slashed the government’s Amazon budget by 27.4%, and his leadership has seen fines dished out to environmental offenders plummet by 42%. Activists say that the populist President is deliberately allowing dangerously large portions of the rainforest to be cleared for agriculture to serve the interests of big businesses.

The damage inflicted to the Amazon in recent years has sparked international outrage and condemnation, and now the ICC will assess the case against Bolsonaro to see if there are grounds to put him on trial for ecocide. The Hague court has seen some of the worst war criminals and tyrants in recent memory appear in its Dutch HQ, including those who carried out genocides in the Balkans and in Africa.

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Oisin Sweeney

Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...