The Minister of the Environment of Brazil, Ricardo Salles, has provoked an international controversy for his words during a council of ministers in which he called for modifying environmental and agricultural laws to make them more flexible, taking advantage of the coronavirus crisis and thus avoiding judicial scrutiny. .

Salles said that “the cattle” had to be passed to all the ministerial regulations, an expression that in Brazilian Portuguese means to review in depth. Salles’ words were spoken on April 22, but have so far not transcended. “I have a huge list of all the ministries that have a regulatory role and that could be simplified. We don’t need to go through Congress,” he said.

The minister argued that the press is focused on the coronavirus in the video recording, released this Friday after authorization from the Federal Supreme Court.

“Salles accredits that people who are dying in lines in hospitals are a good opportunity to advance their anti-environmental project,” said Luiza Lima, from Greenpeace Brazil.

Swedish activist Greta Thunberg has also criticized Salles. “Imagine what has been said out of the blue … Our common future is just a game for them,” he said.

Salles himself has come out in line with his words and has assured that he has been misinterpreted, since he was referring to updating the regulations of all the ministries. For Salles, the statements have been taken out of context.

“I said it in the sense that there are many standards in all the ministries. I was referring to all the ministries. I was not talking only about mine,” he said. “The expression taken out of context can give a certain impression, but it meant that there are many things to do,” he stressed.