Lula wants new Brazilian police unit to deal with environmental crimes

Lula wants new Brazilian police unit to deal with environmental crimes

Brazil’s president-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva intends to create a new Federal Police unit focused on environmental crimes, the transition team’s public security chief has said.

Senator-elect Flavio Dino, considered a leading candidate to be the next justice minister, heads the transition team’s working group dealing with violent crime, limiting gun ownership and protecting the Amazon rainforest.

Lula has pledged to end illegal deforestation in the Amazon, one of the world’s main buffers against climate change, after it reached a 15-year deforestation peak under outgoing president Jair Bolsonaro’s administration.

In an interview with Reuters, Dino said the proposed new Federal Police unit would take a broad view of crimes in the Amazon, where deforestation, illegal mining, drug trafficking, money laundering and gang violence are often interlinked. “Now there is a specific complexity of environmental crimes, we no longer have isolated environmental crimes,” he said.

Currently, environmental crimes are dealt with by the organised crime department of the Federal Police, Dino said. The creation of a new unit, he added, would be a “practical proposal, showing a sense of priority for this environmental issue”.

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