Three weeks after being named in a second probe into alleged illegal exports of Amazon timber and facing growing opposition, Brazil’s controversial environment minister, Ricardo Salles, was ousted on June 23 “upon request,” as announced in the country’s official gazette. When Salles was appointed minister in January 2019, he faced immediate criticism due to his conviction for administrative impropriety related to his term as secretary of the environment for the state of São Paulo just before taking federal office. But he enjoyed relative stability despite his controversial remarks and heavily criticized policies that fueled deforestation rates in the Amazon. That was until a month ago, when a new spate of legal troubles flared up, starting with a police probe linking a law firm where Salles is one of the stakeholders to suspicious financial transations  amounting to 14.2 million reais ($2.9 million). In a press conference in Brasília, Salles said he was resigning to allow the facilitation of the country’s environmental negotiations on the international stage and in the national agenda, which will require Brazil to “have a strong union of interests.” “To allow that to be done in the most serene manner possible, I have submitted my resignation to the president,” he said. President Jair Bolsonaro has appointed the ministry’s secretary for the Amazon and environmental services, Joaquim Alves Pereira Leite, to replace Salles. It is unclear if this is a temporary appointment. President Jair Bolsonaro praised his then-minister of environment, Ricardo Salles, in a public event a day before…This article was originally published on Mongabay Läs mer

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