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International Funding Largely Depends on Reducing Deforestation, Protecting Rights

(São Paulo) – The governors of Brazilian Amazon states should take immediate measures to deliver on their pledges to curb illegal deforestation, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The success of the governors’ efforts to secure…
Governors and vice-governors of Brazil’s Amazon states at the 17th Forum of Governors of the Legal Amazon, March 2019
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Dear Governors,                     We are writing to applaud the commitment the Governors, through the Interstate Legal Amazon Consortium, have made to fight illegal deforestation in the Amazon and to…
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To the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and of Association

Human Rights Watch welcomes the opportunity to provide input on the challenges and risks facing climate defenders for the upcoming report by the Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. While recognizing that…
Activists from mining communities protesting at the Pietermaritzburg High Court on August 24, 2018, KwaZulu-Natal © 2018 Rob Symons
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Brazil Should Deliver Results in Reducing Deforestation and Impunity for Environmental Crime and Violence

Speaking at the Leaders Summit on Climate convened by the United States today, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro insisted he’s committed to protecting the Amazon and even pledged more resources for environmental law enforcement. But since taking office…
Congressmen Jair Bolsonaro e Eduardo Bolsonaro speak with the press, Brasília, June 21, 2016.
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Briefing Paper for US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry

I. Deforestation Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has increased dramatically since President Bolsonaro took office in 2019. The increase was more than 30 percent during the first year of his administration and an additional 9.5 percent during the…
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Human Rights Watch Letter Detailed Disastrous Policies Fueling Brazil’s Amazon Crisis

On January 27, Human Rights Watch sent a letter to members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) detailing the disastrous impacts of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s environmental policies. The intervention has now…
Presidente Jair Messias Bolsonaro
Report
Summary Sprawling over nearly half of Brazil’s territory and encompassing nine of its states, the Amazon region is home to over 20 million Brazilians. Since 1985 – when the government began monitoring deforestation in the Amazon – more than half a…
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At the Mercosur summit held virtually last week, President Jair Bolsonaro reiterated his administration’s desire to finalize a trade deal with the European Union. Yet a growing number of European leaders have expressed doubts about the deal given how…
Image of an illegal deforestation strip in the Amazonian forest recorded during the Ibama’s Operation Brigada Verde, in Rondonia, Brazil in August 2019
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Accurate Data Key to Protecting the Forest Defenders

For the first time, Brazils’ Attorney General’s office has produced a report analyzing violence against Indigenous peoples, Afro-Brazilian rural communities, and other at-risk rural communities by people engaged in illegal logging, mining, and land…
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Countries are using the coronavirus crisis to lift environmental regulations, even as COVID-19 leaves populations more vulnerable to health impacts from fires.

The world’s forests could soon join the growing list of casualties of the coronavirus pandemic. The fire season is approaching for many. And governments grappling with Covid-19 are rolling back enforcement of environmental protections that are crucial for…
forest fire
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Encouraging Killings by Police Harms Public Safety

  (São Paulo) – The government of President Jair Bolsonaro should stop undermining environmental protections in Brazil and take decisive action against criminal networks that are destroying the Amazon rainforest and threatening and…
201909ENV_Brazil_main
Report
Summary Every day, people in Brazil put themselves at risk to defend the Amazon rainforest from illegal logging. They are public officials who work for the country’s environmental agencies and police officers who fight environmental crime; they…
News
The killing of 33 inmates in the Brazilian state of Roraima is another sign that the country's prisons are disgracefully out of control. Many of the bodies were decapitated, a practice widely used by gangs to terrorize their enemies. …
A relative of a prisoner holds a local newspaper, which shows a headline about a deadly prison riot, in front of Anisio Jobim prison in Manaus, Brazil, on January 3, 2017.
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The United States is providing early release this weekend for 6,000 inmates who have been serving federal sentences for non-violent drug crimes -- the biggest one-time release of inmates in US history. It's a sign of a tectonic shift occurring in the…
U.S. President Barack Obama and Brazil President Dilma Rousseff depart a joint news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC on June 30, 2015.
News
Pernambuco’s prisons have become a haven of private enterprise. Imagine, if you can, what it is like to be imprisoned there. For 2,000 reais (USD530), you could buy a place to sleep, a narrow wooden cubicle where you can throw a mattress and prop a fan.…
Makeshift “barracos,” or cubicles, inside Pavilion 7 at Presídio Juiz Antônio Luiz L. de Barros (PJALLB), in Recife.
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Among Brazil’s Overpacked Prisons, Pernambuco Tops the List

(São Paulo) – The Brazilian state of Pernambuco has effectively turned over its vastly overcrowded prisons to hand-picked inmate “keyholders,” Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Pernambuco prison system holds more than three times as…
Penitenciária Agro-Industrial São João
News

“Custody Hearings” Improve Due Process, Reduce Prison Overcrowding

(São Paulo) – The Constitution, Justice and Citizenship Commission in Brazil’s Senate should approve a bill that would introduce basic due process procedures to prevent arbitrary detention, Human Rights Watch said today. The measure can also reduce prison…
A judge holds a custody hearing for a detainee in São Paulo on May 11, 2015, with the participation of a prosecutor and a public defender.