Who will win the Golden Chainsaw?

Feature story - 25 May, 2005
The vote is on - who is responsible for the most Amazon destruction? Last week the Brazilian government showed that deforestation was at record levels, so we have nominated Brazilian President Lula and 5 others for the notorious Golden Chainsaw title. "It's a very difficult choice. All six are strong candidates," said Paulo Adario, Amazon campaign co-ordinator.

The Golden Chainsaw

The award has two prizes: public - to be decided by direct vote on the internet- and environmental activists and journalists will make a "critics' choice". The prizes will be given to the Brazilianpersonality whose action or inaction were decisive in the incrediblelevels of deforestation in the Amazon.   The not-so-luckywinner, announced on June 6th, will receive a statue made of illegallylogged wood.

The nominees are:

Blairo Maggi

Governor of the State of Mato Grosso, absolute champion ofdeforestation. (The state was responsible for 48 percent of the totalAmazon destructionduring 2003-04). Considered the "King of Soya", he longs for thepresidency of Brazil.  Author of the celebrated phrase, "Thisbusiness offorests does not have a future".  And, if it depends on him, itcertainly won't.

Roberto Rodrigues

Minister of Agriculture in Brasilia and soy farmer in Maranhão, he isabsolutely convinced that agribusiness is the salvation of farming. Refuses to recognise the relation between deforestationand the advance of agribusiness.

José Dirceu

First minister in line of command in the Lula Government and Chief ofthe Civil House. Co-ordinator of the "Plan of Action for thePrevention and Control of Deforestation in the Legal Amazônia" andgreatly responsible for the lack of  its implementation.

Luís Inácio Lula da Silva

President of the Republic of Brazil and ultimately responsible for itsactions and inactions. Although he promotes a sustainable model forthe Amazon, the protection of theenvironment in his government until now is considered a mere obstacletoeconomic development.

Antônio Palocci

Secretary of the Treasury and holder of the key to thesafe. He compliments  agribusiness and he applaudsincreases in exports while the government institutions andagencies who protect the environment receive less and less federal resources.

Simão Jatene

Governor of the State of Pará which has been historically the vice-leader in deforestation, but the winner of the prizes in thecategories: violence and murders in the field, slave labour, illegaloccupation of land and activities of inherent mismanagement in theprocess of deforestation.

Vote now!

Vote for the candidate you think deserves the Golden Chainsaw (note: this link takes you to the Brazilian site, and voting is in Portuguese, but don't worry, it's easy)

Give to save the Amazon

Donate now and help us to protect the Amazon from chainsaws, golden or otherwise.