Brazilian President prepares for surgery

Jair Bolsonaro

Brazil’s President, Jair Bolsonaro will miss a planned summit on the fires ravaging the Amazon rainforest to prepare for surgery.

A Presidential aide said the surgery is to correct an incisional hernia and is his fourth operation since the attack during his presidential election campaign in October 2018.

The surgery is scheduled for Sunday and Mr Bolsonaro must start a liquid diet on Friday the day of the regional conference in Colombia.

Doctors said he would need 10 days of rest after the treatment.

Brazil may send a representative in his place or ask for the summit to be postponed, the spokesman said.

More than 80,000 fires have broken out in the Amazon rainforest this year.

Intense criticism
Mr Bolsonaro has drawn intense domestic and international criticism for failing to protect the region, which is a vital carbon store that slows the pace of global warming.

Environmentalists blame policies enacted by the Brazilian president for the 77% increase in fires this year compared with the same period in 2018. They say he has encouraged cattle farmers to clear vast swathes of the rainforest since his election.

Speaking to reporters outside his official residence, the president vowed on Monday to defend his Amazon policy “even in a wheelchair” at a UN General Assembly meeting on September 24.

“I will appear because I want to talk about the Amazon,” he said.

Mr Bolsonaro has accused other nations of colonialism for offering $20 million to help tackle the fires.


Christopher Ojilere