Brazilian spies intimidated government’s own delegates at climate talks
(Climate Home News, 14 Oct 2020) Brazil’s spy agency has been accused of trying to intimidate its own government’s negotiators and Brazilian environmentalists at the Cop25 climate talks in Madrid in 2019.
Brazilian newspaper Estadao revealed this week that four Brazilian secret agents were part of the country’s delegation, in a sign of president Jair Bolsonaro’s hostility to activists and the climate agenda.
Three sources confirmed to Climate Home they had seen evidence of spy presence at the summit, which made Brazilian negotiators unusually wary of talking to campaigners. The sources asked not to be named, for fear of reprisals against them or their employers.
The Brazilian Intelligence Agency (Abin) agents presented themselves as “analysts”. Speaking anonymously, one agent told Estadao that the team’s goal was to pick up criticism of Brazil’s Amazon policy. Bolsonaro has sought to open the rainforest up to mining and ranching, removing environmental protections. The agent claimed environmentalists had not been registered although he said that their campaigns were a “cause for concern”.