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« The New Brazil | Main | Brazilian Summer in New York »

May 27, 2011

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RFS

Gringa,

You always try so hard to fit your stories in recognizable pattern. That's why I'm always disputing your line of thought.

In this case, your effort in stereotyping the story about the Forest Code, in making it fit a "recognizable pattern" - saying that this is just another case of the government watering down restrictions on the activities of powerful businesses at the expense of the natives, the kind of story about which Hollywood has probably produced a multitude of movies -; this makes you contradict yourself: for as you yourself wrote, the Code's reforms benefit mainly small farmers.

It must be remembered that the new Forest Code's main sponsor is Rep. (or is it Senator? I'm not sure) Aldo Rebelo, a member of the Partido Comunista do Brasil: not one of the main recipients of large businesses' donations.

Rio Gringa

Hi RFS,

Any new law that legalizes more deforestation will ultimately benefit big agro interests. They already pretty much ignore the laws and this will likely give them even more confidence to continue. Plus, the caveat about amnesty indicates to me that lawmakers would precisely want people to believe that the new code would benefit "the little guy" by presenting it as a socialist or socially beneficial law, but while combining several elements into a single law, they really slipped in parts that are actually meant to protect business interests. (On a separate note, this happens in US lawmaking all the time, too.) Ibama is already struggling as it is, and any legislation that loosens rather than restricts anything to do with land development in the Amazon is going to make it even harder for them. I do hope Dilma nixed the piece about amnesty for previous violators, but it still seems quite clear to me that the only way this would get enough support to pass is that there are much bigger interests at play.

Nevertheless, I do very much enjoy your intellectual challenges. It keeps me on my toes :)

Eric

My best friends are big farmers and surprisingly they told me they are against any law to increase deforestation areas. They say there are too much farmland in Brazil already. According to them, those Amazon farmers are "dinosaurs", second class farmers, still living in the "Era dos Coronéis", or the kind of farmer who would kill MST members and make them receive more money to their "fight against the big farmers". Modern farmers, producing outside forests areas, don´t need to go that far. They are more worried about transport structure(logistics) and credit. PT party did that to gain small land owners support, but ultimately this will also keep the "dinosaurs alive and shotting" and the MST will keep receiving "donations" from all Brazilians citizens pockets.

Now Palloci, well, like senator Sarney said, every former politician traffic "information"(actually is more like "influence", but Sarney probably thought this word was too strong) and we should not blame the traffickers or the buyers, we should blame ourselves for not having enough money to buy that "information". Sarney already explained that...

Ian Nieves

I suspect Amazon deforestation may be an issue that's not neatly divided along ideological or social lines. Many rich "dinosaur" ranchers profit by leveling more rain forest to extend their cattle pastures or farmland; so do many impoverished small plot holders. Corporate interests champion the former; O Partido Communista and other leftists support the latter. Similarly, other Big Farmer interests and populists oppose Amazon decimation for reasons both ecological and financial. The big winners are the politicians, who can be assured of broad-based support regardless of stance.

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