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Brazil judge blocks decree opening Amazon area to mining
August 30, 2017 / 4:35 PM / 2 months ago

Brazil judge blocks decree opening Amazon area to mining

BRASILIA (Reuters) - A Brazilian judge on Wednesday granted an injunction blocking a decree by President Michel Temer that opens up a vast Amazon area to mining, a decision that the attorney general’s office has said it will appeal.

FILE PHOTO: An agent of Brazil’s environmental agency is seen next to an illegal gold dredge burning down at the banks of Uraricoera River during an operation against illegal gold mining on indigenous land, in the heart of the Amazon Rainforest, in Roraima State, Brazil April 15, 2016. REUTERS/Bruno Kelly/File Photo

Federal judge Rolando Valcir Spanholo ruled that the abolition of the area known as Renca, or the National Reserve of Copper and its Associates, could only be done by an act of Congress under the constitution.

Temer’s decree earlier this month drew a barrage of criticism from lawmakers and activists, including moves to file lawsuits and block the decree in Congress, as it would allow mining in an area of roughly 17,800 square miles (46,000 square kilometers) that has been protected since 1984.

The government has responded with a flurry of news conferences and statements, and this week retracted the initial decree and reissued it with more details on overlapping protections that will remain in place after the abolition of Renca.

Reporting by Ricardo Brito; Writing by Jake Spring; Editing by James Dalgleish

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