May 11, 2020 / 8:04 PM / 25 days ago

Brazil launches military operations in the Amazon rainforest

BRASILIA, May 11 (Reuters) - Vice President Hamilton Mourao said Brazil launched a military deployment to protect the Amazon rainforest on Monday, beginning with an operation to combat environmental destruction in the state of Rondonia near the Bolivian border.

President Jair Bolsonaro issued a decree last week allowing the military to be deployed, repeating a move he made last year to send in the armed forces after forest fires and deforestation surged. This year troops are being sent in three months earlier than in 2019.

Reporting by Jake Spring; Editing by Sandra Maler

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