This is a segment of episode #210 “Blotting Out The Sun: Fires Of The Amazon & Pulling The Mental Trigger w/ Brian Mier.” Listen to the full episode: http://bit.ly/LBWmier
Read Brian’s most recent article ‘As Brazil Burns, Northern Media Deploy a Strategy of Deflection’ at FAIR: http://bit.ly/2kszyDF
In this segment of my interview with Brian Mier, co-editor at Brasil Wire and correspondent for TeleSur English, we discuss the fires and deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest in Brazil, the United States intervention in the Brazilian political system, and the rise of far-right president Jair Bolsonaro.
On August 19th, the city of Sao Palo, Brazil experienced a complete blackout of the sun. Brian describes the event in the article ‘The day the sky went out’: “As it turns out, it was a freak incident caused by smoke from out of control forest fires burning in thousands of points across the country and satellite photos were showing that a lot of this was coming from the Amazon rainforest, including a huge fire in the Margarida Alves nature reserve in Roraima that has been burning out of control for 20 days, which the MST says was set by illegal loggers and miners connected to the international capitalist value chains who are trying to steal the land. In short, one more example of the kind of behavior that US backed right wing extremist President Jair Bolsonaro has been encouraging since he took office in January.” (http://bit.ly/2lAQTKM)
In order to understand the context of this event, Brian provides an overview of the various international corporate and political forces responsible for the ongoing devastation of one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet. In particular, Brian describes the direct role soy farmers and cattle ranchers have played in this process, as they continue to expand operations into the virgin rainforest, invading and killing indigenous people and destroying their reservations, all with the tacit approval of elected president Jair Bolsonaro and his administration. In order to understand the rise of Bolsonaro, Brian explains the U.S. backed coup that made way for his rise to power (http://bit.ly/2m4PnRr), as well as the international corporate interests that benefit from the ruthless environmental deregulation emblematic of the Bolsonaro regime. On his visit to the regions most impacted by these fires, Brian quotes local journalist Luciana Oliveira in an article for Brazil Wire, in which she states: “We warned everyone that this was going to happen […] we said that President Bolsonaro’s rhetoric would pull a mental trigger. He gave the order when he relativized the issue of environmental crimes, when he discredited the work of the environmental protection agencies, and when he ridiculed the fines, he gave an order. He said, ‘do it.’” (http://bit.ly/2kwd4Bq)
Brian Mier is co-editor at Brasil Wire and correspondent for TeleSur English's news program From the South, and is the author/co-editor with Daniel Hunt of ‘Year of Lead: Washington, Wall Street and the New Imperialism in Brazil.’