Publication / 8 May 2019

Complicity in Destruction II: How northern consumers and financiers enable Bolsonaro's assault on the Brazilian Amazon

Hosting 20% of its flowing freshwater the planet’s largest rainforest drives weather patterns and stabilizes the global climate. The wellbeing of this forest, and that of its guardians from indigenous and traditional communities, is therefore indispensable to our collective future. What happens to this global treasure is up to all of us.


While the Amazon’s health depends upon the stewardship of the nine countries that share this 5.5 million km2 biome, the role of global markets - from commodity traders to financiers to consumers - directly implicate us in its fate. Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has steadily risen since 2012 and conservative actors within Brazil’s powerful agribusiness sector have played a central role in shifting policies to facilitate the expansion of industry into protected areas.


This report examines how some of the worst actors operating in the Brazilian Amazon - which have documented links to illegal deforestation, corruption, slave labor, and other crimes - openly trade with and receive financing from a range of companies in Europe and North America. By analysing 56 Brazilian companies that were fined for environmental crimes in the Amazon since 2017, and identifying a range of northern commercial interests that do business with them, this report demonstrates the complicity of global actors with this kind of egregious behavior, increasingly becoming the norm under the Bolsonaro regime. 

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