Intimidation of Brazil’s enviro scientists, academics, officials on upswing

Intimidation of Brazil’s enviro scientists, academics, officials on upswing

At the end of March 2021, Larissa Mies Bombardi, a lecturer in geography at Brazil’s University of São Paulo (USP), was forced to seek exile in Belgium, after repeated abuse and threats, many carried out anonymously. The intimidation began shortly after Bombardi released her report, “Atlas of Agrochemicals and Connections between Brazil and EU,” in May 2019. With ample statistical back up, it shows that “one person dies every two and half days from direct intoxication from agricultural chemicals with alarming incidences among the youngest of the [Brazilian] population,”  At the report’s launch in Berlin, Germany, Bombardi stated: “Our health ministry shows that 343 babies from 0 to 12 months were intoxicated between year 2007 and 2014. What is of even greater concern is that for each reported case there are 50 more that go unreported. This means that in this period about 17,000 babies were probably intoxicated,” by agrochemicals. Larissa Mies Bombardi. Image courtesy of Terra de Direitos. In the following months threats against her intensified to the point that in early 2020 both Professor Maria Arminda Arruda, the director of the Faculty of Philosophy, Letters and Human Sciences at USP; and Vahan Agopyan, the University Chancellor, advised Bombardi to leave the country for a while. The academic planned to leave Brazil in March 2020 but had to postpone her departure due to the pandemic. The intimidation escalated. In August 2020 thieves entered her house and stole her laptop. “It was old, of very little value, but it had…This article was originally published on Mongabay

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