Protect Brazilian Human Rights Defenders—and the Amazon

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Date: Oct 10, 2019

Author: Antonio Saadipour Sellés

Despite it being his first year in office, President Bolsonaro and his administration have wasted no time carrying out massive attacks on human rights, espousing racist and homophobic rhetoric, leveling threats against indigenous and Afro-Brazilian communities, and overseeing one of the most heinous climate disasters humanity has ever witnessed. 

Fortunately for us, Congress has not shied away from this fight. And neither should you.

What’s Going On?

Two different resolutions were introduced in Congress – one in the House of Representatives and the other in the Senate.

The first:, H. Res. 594, was introduced by Representatives Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ), Ro Khanna (D-CA), and Deb Haaland (D-NM) and has 14 Democratic co-sponsors. This robust resolution, among its many objectives, aims to protect the Amazon from further deforestation, condemns Bolsonaro’s attacks on human rights and support for extrajudicial killings, rejects U.S. support for environmentally detrimental projects, and raises the threats indigenous leaders and environmental defenders continue to face.

Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Richard Shelby (R-AL) introduced S. Res. 337. It’s a bipartisan resolution with three co-sponsors calling for the Brazilian government’s immediate action to put out the fires that are still laying waste to the Amazon and to stop its illegal deforestation.


Bolsonaro and Trump are two birds of a feather. Despite international criticism, they show no signs of delaying their catastrophic and inhumane agendas. That means we can’t afford to lose momentum either.


Here’s where you come in. By making three short and sweet phone calls – one to your representative in Congress and one to each of your senators – you can make all the difference. <<You can find them here.>> 

Sample script:

“My name is _____, and I am a constituent from _____. I urge Representative _____ to co-sponsor H. Res. 594./I urge Senator _____ to co-sponsor S. Res. 337. So far, Bolsonaro’s term as president has been nothing short of catastrophic for the people of Brazil and the environment. Swift and strong action must be taken to demand Bolsonaro respect the sanctity of the Amazon, the integrity of democracy, the rights of Brazilian people, and the rule of law.” 

The political dilemma and environmental disaster being perpetrated by the Brazilian government is disheartening to say the least, but calling Congress to demand immediate action on these issues will help shift the tide in the right direction. We owe it to our Brazilian brothers and sisters to fight for a future where they can live freely and sustainably, so pick up the phone now.

Thank you for dedicating your time to the defense of human rights and the environment! When politicians refuse to do what’s right, it is our duty speak up.

With determination,

Antonio for the LAWG Team—Lisa, Mavis, Daniella, Lauri, and Antonio