'Soya King' wins Golden Chainsaw award

Feature story - June 19, 2005
Blairo Maggi has won the Golden Chainsaw award for the Brazilian person who most contributed to Amazon destruction. Sadly, rather than accept the award from his celebrity presenters, the 'Soya King' slunk out through the back door of the school he was visiting, to the taunting shouts of hundreds of children.

Comedians from the Brazilian TV show "Panic on TV" attempt to give the governor of Mato Grosso state, Blairo Maggi, the Golden Chainsaw award.

Our internet-based Golden Chainsaw award, for the Brazilian mostresponsible for Amazon destruction, ended with 27,849 votes of whichMaggi, the Governor of Mato Grosso state and the world's largestindividual soya producer, received 10,348 votes (37 percent). He was followedby Brazilian President Lula da Silva, with 7,314 votes (26 percent).

Our Amazon Campaigner Paulo Adario assured us that Maggi was adeserving winner.  "Maggi deserved the award. After two years asthe State Governor, he has turned Mato Grosso into the State championof deforestation, responsible for 48 percent of the total forest loss in theBrazilian Amazon," he said.

Three comedians from a popular TV show in Brazil, Pânico na TV (Panicon TV) tried to deliver the Golden Chainsaw statuette to Blairo Maggion Wednesday at a school in Cuiabá, capital of Mato Grosso. However the State Governor refused to accept the award and thepresenters were removed from the school by security.  More than1,000 people, including hundreds of children, responded to thiseviction by calling on Maggi to show up and accept the statuette,shouting: "Maggi, Maggi… Accept it, accept it" and "Protect nature."But to their disappointment, Maggi had left through a back door.

"We are extremely happy to have both the artists (from Pânico na TV) andtheir fans' support for our campaign," said Adario. "This is yetanother way to take such an important issue as the protection of theAmazon into people's daily lives." The Awards certainly capturedpeoples' imaginations - the local newspaper sold a record number ofcopies on the day of the presentation, and Pânico na TV has an audienceof about 40 million people!

The other nominees for the person who most contributed to record levelsof Amazon destruction were the Federal Ministers José Dirceu (CivilHouse), Antonio Palocci (Treasury) and Roberto Rodrigues (Agriculture)and the Governor of the Para State Simão Jatene.

Check out the official results

The official results - who won, who lost, who slipped out through the back door ...

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