UCL Institute of the Americas


Dr Par Engstrom discusses President Bolsonaro’s response to international aid

28 August 2019

In this Business Insider article Dr Engstrom discusses the continuing situation with the Amazon rainforest fires and President Bolsonaro’s refusal to accept international aid.

Amazon rainforest

Please visit the Business Insider website to read the full article: Brazil has angrily attacked offers to help it put out the huge fires in the Amazon — here's why it is pushing back against global outrage

There was ongoing concern among Brazilian elites that the world is unfriendly and does not have Brazil's interests at heart. Bolsonaro's rhetoric is actually not that extreme in Brazil's history and represents quite a strong strand of Brazil's thinking and Brazil's thoughts about its place in the world.

Bolsonaro's approach to foreign policy so far has centered on the idea that there is a globalist conspiracy against countries like Brazil. It is not surprising that Brazil rejected the offer of $20 million from G7 countries - especially given that it was a decision made in Europe, without Brazil's input, and a pretty small sum.

There has been a long-running concern in Brazil, and in the military in particular, over international efforts to exert control over the Amazon."

- Dr Par Engstrom, 
Senior Lecturer in Human Rights