Brazil’s environment minister quits in frustration


When Marina Silva was chosen in late 2002 to become Brazil’s environment minister, the well-known green activist, a former Amazon rubber tapper, brought gravitas to a traditionally superfluous ministry and gave President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva instant environmental credibility. Since then the president’s green credentials have grown tarnished as he has repeatedly allowed pro-development ministers in his cabinet to overrun Silva’s environmental positions. This month, those credentials took a particularly high-profile hit as Silva, smarting from her latest reversal, suddenly quit her post. Silva’s resignation on May 13, and those of João Paulo Cabobianco, the environment vice minister, and Basileu Aparecido, the head of Ibama, the environment ministry’s enforcement and licensing arm, shocked foreign governments as well as lawmakers in... [Log in to read more]

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