Thu | Nov 21, 2019

Rights group blames government for Amazon fires

Published:Friday | August 23, 2019 | 12:32 AM
In this Aug. 20, 2019 drone photo released by the Corpo de Bombeiros de Mato Grosso, brush fires burn in Guaranta do Norte municipality, Mato Grosso state, Brazil. Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research, a federal agency monitoring deforestation and wildfires, said the country has seen a record number of wildfires this year. (Corpo de Bombeiros de Mato Grosso via AP)
In this Aug. 20, 2019 drone photo released by the Corpo de Bombeiros de Mato Grosso, brush fires burn in Guaranta do Norte municipality, Mato Grosso state, Brazil. Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research, a federal agency monitoring deforestation and wildfires, said the country has seen a record number of wildfires this year. (Corpo de Bombeiros de Mato Grosso via AP)

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP):

Amnesty International says Brazilian government failures are responsible for fires raging in the Amazon rainforest.

The comment by the rights group yesterday came after Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro suggested some non-governmental groups could be setting the blazes in retaliation for losing state funds under his administration.

Bolsonaro did not provide any evidence for his allegation, which escalated international concern over the vast rainforest that is a major absorber of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Kumi Naidoo is secretary general of London-based Amnesty International. He says the group has documented illegal land invasions and arson attacks in the Amazon, including a region where many fires are raging.

The World Meteorological Organization said this week that satellite images show smoke from Amazon fires is reaching the Atlantic coast and São Paulo.