Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Brazil’s Bolsonaro Calls Greta Thunberg a 'Brat' for Speaking up for Indigenous Rights

Politics
Brazil’s Bolsonaro Calls Greta Thunberg a 'Brat' for Speaking up for Indigenous Rights
Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro speaks during the 55th Mercosur summit in Bento Goncalves, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, on Dec. 5, 2019. CARL DE SOUZA / AFP via Getty Images

Right-wing Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is angry that 16-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg is speaking out for indigenous rights.


On Sunday, Thunberg tweeted a response to the killing of two indigenous leaders in Northeast Brazil Saturday.

"Indigenous people are literally being murdered for trying to protect the forest from illegal deforestation," she wrote. "Over and over again. It is shameful that the world remains silent about this."

Bolsonaro, whose pro-development policies and rhetoric have been blamed for the uptick in violence against indigenous people in the Brazilian Amazon, lashed out against Thunberg Tuesday.

"Greta said the Indians died because they were defending the Amazon (forest). How can the media give space to a brat like that," Bolsonaro told reporters, as Reuters reported.

Bolsonaro used the Portuguese word "pirralha," which means roughly "little brat" or "pest," according to The Guardian.

Thunberg then responded by temporarily changing her Twitter biography to "pirralha."

This isn't the first time Thunberg has used her Twitter biography to shame world leaders who dismiss her activism, Business Insider pointed out.

After Thunberg gave an emotional speech at the UN Climate Action Summit in September denouncing world leaders for failing to act on the climate crisis, U.S. President Donald Trump tweeted mockingly that "she seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!"

Thunberg then temporarily changed her Twitter bio to read "a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future."

Greta Thunberg speaking at the Climate March on Sept. 27, 2019 in Montreal, Canada. Lëa-Kim Châteauneuf / CC BY-SA 4.0

Sunday's tweet isn't the only way that Thunberg stood up for indigenous activists this week. At the COP25 UN Climate Change Conference Monday, Thunberg said she and other European climate activists had been given disproportionate attention from the media, The Associated Press reported.

"It is people especially from the global south, especially from indigenous communities, who need to tell their stories," she told reporters, before handing the microphone to other young climate activists from frontline communities.

One of the young activists who spoke was 18-year-old Rose Whipple from Minnesota, who had participated in the protests against the Dakota Access pipeline.

"We deserve to be listened to and we also deserve to have our lands back," Whipple said.

Thunberg also isn't the only one to speak out for indigenous rights in Brazil specifically, The Guardian pointed out. Since Bolsonaro took office, 153 indigenous territories have been invaded, more than double last year's number of 76, Brazil's Indigenous Missionary Council found. The group said Bolsonaro's anti-environmental rhetoric was partly responsible.

"This Amazon bloodbath demands a strong and swift response from Brazilian authorities," Brazil's former environment minister Marina Silva tweeted after Saturday's murders.

Bolsonaro responded to questions about the murders by saying "any death is worrying" and promising to enforce laws against illegal forest clearing, Reuters reported.

Indigenous communities in the Amazon are often threatened by illegal miners or loggers, and Bolsonaro has promised to open more indigenous territories to the extractive industries.

A replica of a titanosaur. AIZAR RALDES / AFP via Getty Images

New fossils uncovered in Argentina may belong to one of the largest animals to have walked on Earth.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Trump's Affordable Clean Energy rule eliminated a provision mandating that utilities move away from coal. VisionsofAmerica /Joe Sohm / Getty Images

A federal court on Tuesday struck down the Trump administration's rollback of the Obama-era Clean Power Plan regulating greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A wild mink in Utah was the first wild animal in the U.S. found with COVID-19. Peter Trimming via Wikipedia, CC BY-SA

By Jonathan Runstadler and Kaitlin Sawatzki

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers have found coronavirus infections in pet cats and dogs and in multiple zoo animals, including big cats and gorillas. These infections have even happened when staff were using personal protective equipment.

Read More Show Less
A mass methane release could begin an irreversible path to full land-ice melt. NurPhoto / Contributor / Getty Images

By Peter Giger

The speed and scale of the response to COVID-19 by governments, businesses and individuals seems to provide hope that we can react to the climate change crisis in a similarly decisive manner - but history tells us that humans do not react to slow-moving and distant threats.

Read More Show Less
Doug Emhoff, U.S. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, Jill Biden and President-elect Joe Biden wave as they arrive on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol for the inauguration on Jan. 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. Joe Raedle / Getty Images

By John R. Platt

The period of the 45th presidency will go down as dark days for the United States — not just for the violent insurgency and impeachment that capped off Donald Trump's four years in office, but for every regressive action that came before.

Read More Show Less