Old movie

Image: Lara Mantoanelli


Devastation, genocide and misgovernment seem like a remake of a plot from another dictatorship, but with other actors and more sophisticated scenarios

It looks like an old movie. This movie that we are seeing now with the illegal and criminal removal of wood from the Amazon seems like a remake of another dictatorship's plot, but currently with other actors and more sophisticated scenarios.

In Ubatuba, a municipality with a strong tourist vocation located on the North Coast of the State of São Paulo, in the 80s, the extraction of green granite was rampant and the federal government's supervision was negligible. Of the tax that had to be collected because of its extraction, for its later commercialization, the former IUM (Imposto Único sobre Minerals), almost nothing was left for the municipality that was the territory that suffered most from the predatory practice in the removal of this type of ore, geologically very rare, and used for the so-called “thin coating” in civil construction.

Large blocks (a few tons of parallelepipeds) were exported to Europe, the United States, and Japan and were not difficult to be identified, with the naked eye, on the large trucks that traveled along the federal roads in the region. I just didn't see who didn't want to. A lot of controversy about possible environmental tragedies was generated at the time, such as this statement, for example, by the author of this article, released by the newspaper “O Estado de S. Paulo” on 26/09/1985: “If the rains forecast for the month of November may cause a tragedy in Cubatão due to the destruction of the Serra do Mar cover in that region, the same should occur in Ubatuba, with the clearings opened indiscriminately by mining on the slopes of that mountain range in the municipality”. [1]

After this phase, of flagrant destruction of the Atlantic Forest, with direct interference in the water resources of the region, because of the material (soil and mining waste) that was dragged into the water bodies by the precipitation waters, the movement of society and the improvement of environmental legislation, both at the federal and state levels, managed to stop, years later, this type of activity for the benefit of the environment and the population that lives in its surroundings.

Nowadays, this barbarity of illegally extracted wood logs from the Amazon indicates that this is more or less the path planned and the “logistics” of this government on duty. Just do not see who does not want. The quantity and volume are such that it is impossible to cover it up with a tarp and go unnoticed by customs in ports and in life. The images released by TVs are frightening. The piles of wood logs are not the size of a bag of emeralds that, not by chance, had been smuggled by people known to that other military government, which lasted from 1964 to 1985.

We need to be aware because, similarly to the proliferation of new strains of the coronavirus, which spread around the world and increase our agony with the contamination and spread of the disease, other “strains” in the federal public administration are being created. The daily news on TVs and various media platforms reveal this perverse Brazilian reality.

The “CPI of the Genocide”, which is under way by the Federal Senate, has revealed that we are going from bad to worse in the area of ​​public health in the handling of the tragic problem of the pandemic of the coronavirus and if another “wave of fires” in the Amazon comes, to aggravate this picture even more, we should not be surprised with this bad application of economic resources, paid with our taxes. “At the end of the day, it is much more expensive for the government to take care of a sick population because the ears are turned to the powerful groups that only think about easy and immediate profit. In other words, they are killing us, little by little, and if this posture does not change quickly, it seems, we will have to cough until our lungs burst.” [2]

“On the other hand, it is expected that the “CPI on Devastation” will also become a reality, which is being gestated in the Chamber of Deputies, because if this investigation runs in parallel to the “CPI on Genocide” it could sediment the atrocities of an ongoing destructive process, and its execution phase started from the day of inauguration on 01/01/2019.” [3]. The creation of this second CPI, more focused on the environmental crimes that have been taking place in this sad part of the planet where our country is located, would complement the first, already in operation.

At that moment all attention is little. Remember that water is a public good and should not be considered a “commodity” or merchandise. However, as this precious liquid is “carnally” linked to the issue of deforestation, it may be the next turn of the day to let the “cattle in the waters” pass. “In addition, it is emphasized that its use must not cause any kind of impact, such as, for example, the contamination of soil and water by elements, compounds or organisms that may harm the health of humans or animals.” [4]

Thus, from what we understand from our recent political history, the current president sold the “fish” well during his election campaign and came to power with his conservative speech to the ruling class. “And so let's not deceive ourselves because it looks like he's been keeping his word. This militarized federal government is a destructive, demolishing government, like few others have existed in our fragile democratic history. What this government preaches, and tries to execute without the slightest bit of shame, seems to have been materialized by the 57 million votes received in a project of the work of evil and at galloping speed.” [5]

To conclude, the “CPI of Genocide” may be the hope that, in the end, may lead this government to condemnation and its removal from power, through legal channels, because we are no longer enduring this situation that has lasted for more than two years and killed more than 448 thousand Brazilians because of the coronavirus. “Lies and manipulation put the lives of honest people at risk” (Ailton Krenak).

* Heraldo Campos, a geologist, is a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Hydraulics and Sanitation at the School of Engineering of São Carlos-USP.


[1] https://acervo.estadao.com.br/pagina/#!/19850926-33918-nac-0072-999-72-not/busca/Heraldo+Campos

[2] https://www.brasil247.com/blog/a-queimada-e-nossa

[3] http://cacamedeirosfilho.blogspot.com/2021/05/agora-melou.html?view=magazine

[4] https://blogdogersonnogueira.com/2020/06/28/a-boiada-nas-aguas/

[5] https://aterraeredonda.com.br/a-reforma-de-fachada


See this link for all articles


  • About artificial ignoranceEugenio Bucci 15/06/2024 By EUGÊNIO BUCCI: Today, ignorance is not an uninhabited house, devoid of ideas, but a building full of disjointed nonsense, a goo of heavy density that occupies every space
  • Franz Kafka, libertarian spiritFranz Kafka, libertarian spirit 13/06/2024 By MICHAEL LÖWY: Notes on the occasion of the centenary of the death of the Czech writer
  • Introduction to “Capital” by Karl Marxred triangular culture 02/06/2024 By ELEUTÉRIO FS PRADO: Commentary on the book by Michael Heinrich
  • Impasses and solutions for the political momentjose dirceu 12/06/2024 By JOSÉ DIRCEU: The development program must be the basis of a political commitment from the democratic front
  • The society of dead historyclassroom similar to the one in usp history 16/06/2024 By ANTONIO SIMPLICIO DE ALMEIDA NETO: The subject of history was inserted into a generic area called Applied Human and Social Sciences and, finally, disappeared into the curricular drain
  • Strengthen PROIFESclassroom 54mf 15/06/2024 By GIL VICENTE REIS DE FIGUEIREDO: The attempt to cancel PROIFES and, at the same time, turn a blind eye to the errors of ANDES management is a disservice to the construction of a new representation scenario
  • The strike at federal Universities and Institutescorridor glazing 01/06/2024 By ROBERTO LEHER: The government disconnects from its effective social base by removing those who fought against Jair Bolsonaro from the political table
  • A myopic logicRED MAN WALKING _ 12/06/2024 By LUIS FELIPE MIGUEL: The government does not have the political will to make education a priority, while it courts the military or highway police, who do not move a millimeter away from the Bolsonarism that they continue to support
  • Hélio Pellegrino, 100 years oldHelio Pellegrino 14/06/2024 By FERNANDA CANAVÊZ & FERNANDA PACHECO-FERREIRA: In the vast elaboration of the psychoanalyst and writer, there is still an aspect little explored: the class struggle in psychoanalysis
  • Volodymyr Zelensky's trapstar wars 15/06/2024 By HUGO DIONÍSIO: Whether Zelensky gets his glass full – the US entry into the war – or his glass half full – Europe’s entry into the war – either solution is devastating for our lives