NGOs in Latin America

Surviving the Bolsonaro years

In many ways the election of Jair Bolsonaro, a climate-change sceptic and far right-wing nationalist, as president of Brazil for the 2019-2023 term in office was a fundamental challenge to most Brazilian NGOs, and specifically to those campaigning for increased environmental protections. Bolsonaro sought to roll back the clock to the nationalism of the 1970s, where developing the Amazon was seen as essential to strengthen national security. His government sought not only to marginalise the role of NGOs, but also to limit and reduce the work of government-funded quangos created to protect indigenous groups and to control illegal activities such as deforestation and unauthorised mining. A sign of his relative success in achieving these aims was the rapid increase in forest fires and deforestation.

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