Brazil charges 81 with illegal Amazon deforestation
November 2, 2008
Brazil will file charges against 81 people accused of being the biggest destroyers of the Amazon rainforest, reports the Associated Press.
Environment Minister Carlos Minc said those convicted of crimes — including land-clearing inside reserves and other protected areas — will be fined and required to replant deforested areas. Overall the accused face $99 million in fines.
Minc said the majority of those charged are large-scale soy farmers and cattle ranchers. Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon is increasingly driven by corporate interests and large landowners, rather than poor subsistence farmers.
Deforestation for the 2007-2008 year increased for the first time since 2004. Analysts have blamed record high commodity prices for the increase.