Lula takes office, cancels privatization of 8 state-owned companies
On his second day in office the Brazilian cancels his predecessor's decision to privatize 8 public-sector companies including one in oil and gas.
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva revokes the decision made by former President Jair Bolsonaro and cancels the privatization process of 8 state-owned companies, Brazilian media outlet G1 said on Monday.
The decision included companies such as Petrobras that operate in the oil and gas sector, in addition to Correios postal company, which started during Bolsonaros term, the outlet reported.
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was sworn in on Sunday as the President of Brazil to begin a four-year term for the third time in his life.
The new Brazilian President vowed to haul Brazil out of Jair Bolsonaro’s era of “devastation”, and "barbarism". He promised to lead Brazil into a new chapter of environmental protection, social progress, and a “rational democratic” government.
Without mentioning his right-wing predecessor by name in his 30-minute address, Lula excoriated the damage done by Bolsonaro’s four-year administration during which nearly 700,000 Brazilians died of a mishandled Covid outbreak, millions were plunged into poverty, and Amazon deforestation soared.
Lula had previously led Brazil for a first term from 2003 to 2006, and a second term from 2006 to 2010. In his inaugural address before Congress, Lula vowed to "maintain, defend and obey the constitution" as he returns to the presidency.
The new socialist president, however, will face a Congress widely dominated by Bolsonaro's allies.
Lula picks Amazon defender for environment minister
Brazilian President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva announced Thursday his pick for the country's next environment minister: Amazon activist and defense Marina Silva.
Lula's announcement was far from shocking, as the leftist President has since his campaign been stressing that he would prioritize the Earth's lungs, the Amazon rainforest, after the woes it suffered under his conservative predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro.
This also signifies that the Lula administration will prioritize cracking down on illegal deforestation in the forest even if it means running afoul of powerful agribusiness interests.
The minister-to-be told the Brazilian network Globo TV shortly after the president-elect's announcement that the ministry she will be heading will change to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.
Furthermore, Lula named Sonia Guajajara, an Indigenous woman, as Brazil's first minister of Indigenous peoples, and Carlos Fávaro, a soybean producer, as agriculture minister.
Read next: Bolsonaro supporters clash with police after indigenous chief arrest
The incoming environment minister's upbringing was in the forest she will be defending, having been born in the Amazon and working as a rubber tapper throughout her adolescent years.
She had served as environment minister during the majority of Lula's former tenure as President from 2003 to 2010, overseeing the creation of dozens of conservation areas and a sophisticated strategy against deforestation with major operations against environmental criminals and new satellite surveillance.
Silva's policies garnered her quite a lot of resentment from many key agribusiness players and associated lawmakers.
This would be huge for the environment, especially after Bolsonaro pushed for development in the Amazon and whose environment minister resigned after national police began investigating whether he was aiding the export of illegally cut timber.
He froze the creation of protected areas, weakened environmental agencies, and placed forest management under the control of the agriculture ministry, while also championing agribusiness, which opposes the creation of protected areas such as Indigenous territories and pushes for the legalization of land grabbing.
Under Bolsonaro, deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon reached a 15-year high in the year ending in July 2021.