First time I called the president. The dominant emotions are anger and caution, in roughly equal measure.
It could be only a curious nightmare - well, it really is.
He was not available, possibly because of hundreds of calls people like me made today, asking him to veto land grabbing of 67 million hectares of Amazon forests.
The real nightmare inspires ferocious critique of prospects for zero deforestation in Brazil.
Despite the fact that Brazil has come much further than most other tropical countries in developing a solid legal framework for forests protection, there is permanent risk that the "ruralist lobby" could prosper on flexibilizing it.
At this very right moment, the ruralist caucus is doing its best to dismantle the Forestry Code and there are at least 3 bills intending to change the rules for infra structure projects and land regularization in the Amazon.
The so-called Provisionary Measure 458 approved last Wednesday by the Senate, is part of this "ruralist package". It grants amnesty for land grabbers that own up to 1,500 hectares properties. The text proposed by Mr Asdrubal Bentes (deputy by PMDB) does not distinguish small farmers and rural workers - whom by law hold the right to legal title – from those who illegally occupied and deforested land. Thus it is a stimulus for land speculation and for race of farmers to the Amazon, meaning more violence and more deforestation in the region.
President Lula has to decide the future of forests up to June 25th. Give President Lula a wake-up call +55 61 34111200 and ask him to VETO MP 458!