Brazil’s Congress has stripped powers away from the country’s new Ministry of Indigenous Peoples and Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change, both led by women environmentalists. It’s a rejection of the priorities of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who took office in January,
The move shows the increasing power of Brazil’s so-called “beef caucus,” shorthand for cattle businesses and other large-scale agriculture that together control the majority of both legislative chambers in the country.
Objecting to what he called “constraints on agribusiness that could harm exports,” Senator Carlos Viana said during the voting session on Thursday that “The main points (of the caucus) have been addressed.”
Critics argue that the leftist leader Lula did not try hard enough to avert the action in Congress. Last week, the president dismissed that criticism saying that “we shouldn’t be scared of politics.” Allies of the president also argue that he retains ultimate authority over the environment and Indigenous affairs.