Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro was reported today to the International Criminal Court (ICC), accused of inciting genocide practices and promoting systematic attacks against the indigenous peoples of the country.
The information was disclosed in a statement from the Human Rights Advocacy Collective (ACHPR) and the Arns Commission, two Brazilian organizations that are the authors of the representation.
According to the complainants, the President must answer for having committed “crimes against humanity” allegedly provided for in the International Treaty of Rome, recognized by the International Criminal Court (ICC) and to which Brazil has been a signatory since 1998.
"The rules of the court are clear about the accountability of heads of state when they incite, practice or are omitted before crimes against humanity," the ACHPR said in a statement.
In a complaint to ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, the lawyers point out that the recent Amazon fires whose images have been spread around the world "cause unequal environmental and social damage that are difficult to reverse."
In addition, the complainants claim that this damage would be associated with problems caused by land disputes for agricultural companies, major infrastructure works, illegal mining and logging.
“These activities have a great impact on the jungle and the people who inhabit it and were stimulated at certain times (by the Brazilian Government) and at others ignored,” said the complainants.
The ACHPR is a group of lawyers that has been acting for free in cases of public interest since 2012. The Arns Commission brings together former ministers and human rights activists.
Both organizations accuse Bolsonaro and his government of inciting violations and violence against indigenous peoples by weakening environmental control institutions and ignoring environmental crimes committed in the Amazon.
"For this set of actions, the ACHPR and the Arns Commission understand that Bolsonaro is personally responsible for a crime against humanity, the driving force behind the complaint," the group said.
Upon receipt of the complaint, the ICC shall request information from states, United Nations organs, intergovernmental or non-governmental organizations and other sources deemed relevant for the study of the charges.
If it considers that there is “sufficient basis” to initiate an investigation, the ICC Chief Prosecutor may submit an application for authorization for an investigation to the Preliminary Chamber, which is linked to this international tribunal.
Since taking office on 1 January, Bolsonaro has sparked a series of controversies over anti-environmental rhetoric, as well as being involved in an international crisis following the increase in fires in the Amazon, with some countries, such as France and Germany. show concern about this issue.
Between August 2018 and July 2019, deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon skyrocketed 29.5% and reached its highest level in eleven years, according to official data.
According to a report released Thursday, deforestation of the world's largest rainforest also affects indigenous lands and increased 74% between August 2018 and July 2019, during which time these areas lost 423 square kilometers of vegetation cover.
However, Bolsonaro denies that his Government's policies are the reason for this increase and attributes the progress of deforestation to “cultural” phenomena related to the logging and burning practices that many Amazonian inhabitants traditionally use.
. (tagsToTranslate) July