General Augusto Heleno, GSI Minister, said today that foreign NGOs and heads of state from other countries should not give a “guess” about the Brazilian Amazon.
The statement came in response to questions from journalists about the concerns of President Jair Bolsonaro’s (PSL) government over the Amazon Synod to be held by the Catholic Church in October in the Vatican.
“The concern is that there are some things on the agenda of the Synod that are matters of interest to Brazil and who care for the Brazilian Amazon is Brazil.” said Heleno.
The minister added that “Brazil does not give a hint about the Sahara desert” in Egypt, “nor in Alaska, in the United States.” Each country takes care of its sovereignty, “he said.
Report published by the newspaper “O Estado de S. Paulo” this weekend reported the existence of reports of Abin (Brazilian Intelligence Agency) and military monitoring commands of activities of the Catholic Church, seen by the Plateau with potential to lead opposition to the government Bolsonaro.
The reports speak of meetings between Brazilian cardinals and Pope Francis in the Vatican to discuss the holding of the Synod on Amazonia, which will bring together bishops from all continents in Rome in October.
“I made a note from the GSI explaining the completely unfounded comment that Abin was going to spy on the bishops, spy on the priests. this has not well founded… Abin does not have this concern… At no point did I spy on anyone neither Abin has that mission, nor Abin will monitor anyone with that connotation, “Heleno said.
“Concern for the Synod is a real concern because the Synod has a agenda that it will develop and some matters of this agenda are of national security interest,” Heleno said.
Heleno also said that she will only go to the Chamber of Deputies to talk about the work of Abin and provide clarifications on the reports if called. “If I were invited, no, if I called, I had to go,” he said.
The opposition promised to file today in the House an application for convocation to give explanations in the House. The document must be approved by the Speaker, Rodrigo Maia.
The GSI minister said that Brazil does not need foreign opinions about the Amazon because the government “knows what it has to do.”
“We know how to do sustainable development, insure deforestation, we are the country that has deforested the world the least today, so we swallow some things we do not have to swallow,” he said.
The secretary general of the Brazilian Bishops’ Conference (CNBB), Bishop Leonardo Steiner, spoke on social networks yesterday about the Synod. Avoiding controversy, he said that the event is an initiative for the Church to understand its evangelizing mission in the Amazon.
“It is an event, a celebration of the Church, for the Church,” he said.