Jair Bolsonaro’s effort to convey to American leader Joe Biden an image of commitment to the fight against the destruction of the Amazon rainforest was not limited to the adoption of a speech of conciliation.
In participation in the Climate Summit, this Thursday (22), the president wore a green tie, a color associated with the environment, and on the left lapel of the black suit, next to a representation of the national flag, hung a red pin It’s blue.
The adornment is a representation of the Peacemaker’s Medal with Palma, an honor given to servicemen and civilians who have distinguished themselves, in peacetime, by episodes of bravery and altruism. According to palace advisers, the use of the symbol was no accident.
The president’s intention was to convey an image of personal sacrifice and boundless courage, in an attempt to counter criticism that the current administration is not working to reduce deforestation.
According to the National Institute for Space Research, however, deforestation in the Amazon rainforest increased again in March and broke the record for the month. There was 367.61 km² of deforestation, surpassing the previous record of 2018, with 356.6 km² destroyed, followed by 2020, with 326.49 km² cut down.
The Peacemaker Medal was received by Bolsonaro in 2018, after his election. The president was honored by then army commander Eduardo Villas Bôas for preventing a soldier from drowning during military training in 1978.
Bolsonaro has already said that the country should classify Colonel Carlos Alberto Brilhante Ustra as a hero, one of the main symbols of repression during the military dictatorship, for having received, in 1972, the medal of the peacemaker with Palma. “I am a captain in the army, I knew and was a friend of the colonel, I am a friend of the widow. […] Colonel Carlos Alberto Brilhante Ustra received the army’s highest honor, the Peacekeeper Medal, is a Brazilian hero, ”he said in 2016.
According to the final report of the National Truth Commission, it was only in the direction of Urra that the DOI-Codi (Information Operations Detachment) of the 2nd Army (SP) was responsible for the death or the disappearance of at least 45 political prisoners.
This isn’t the first time this year that Bolsonaro has shown military honor in an attempt to show sacrifice. He also wore the brooch in reference to the medal in March, during a national channel statement in which he also moderated the speech in relation to the coronavirus pandemic.
The use of props to try and defend flags and preach ideologies is a recurring habit of the current government. Artifacts range from an evangelical bracelet, in an effort to highlight the government’s alliance with the religious denomination, to a rifle-print tie, a reference to the defense of the easing of arms in the country.
One of the pieces sparked controversy last year, not exactly because of its importance, but because its image is not appropriate for the time the country faces the coronavirus pandemic.
During a press conference to explain the methodology to arrive at the number of deaths by Covid-19, the executive secretary of the Ministry of Health at the time, Elcio Franco Filho, adorned his jacket with a pierced skull pin of a knife. The device refers to the career of the reserve colonel, who was part of the army’s special forces, units that use the image of the skull as a symbol.
The artifact, the presidential auxiliaries admit, was not the most appropriate for the occasion.
Last year, after preaching at a ministerial meeting that the people should arm themselves, Bolsonaro appeared in public with a rifle-print tie. The president’s sons also displayed tie clips in the shape of a gun.