Amazonian Destruction Soars Before Brazil Election

PIRAPITINGA, Brazil—Elections are typically a bad time for Brazil’s trees. Hungry for votes, politicians are often loath to crack down on locals razing the Amazon rainforest just before the ballot, according to researchers on deforestation.

But this year it’s even worse. With polls pointing to President Jair Bolsonaro’s likely defeat in next month’s elections, criminal groups are racing to raze the world’s biggest rainforest ahead of the vote, making the most of what environmentalists say has been one of the most permissive administrations on deforestation.

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