The TRF-1 (Federal District Court of the 1st Region) has kept Ricardo Salles in the Ministry of the Environment after five attempts by the MPF (Federal Ministry) since July to release the Minister from his duties.
For prosecutors, Salles acts on purpose – if there is intent – and calculated against the environment.
Judge Ney Bello, rapporteur on the MPF’s motions in the second instance, saw no reason to remove Salles from office, as the prosecutors requested in an interim complaint filed in TRF-1. This type of resource is suitable for urgent matters.
MPF members challenged the decision of the federal judge Márcio de França from Brasília, who had already made a similar decision. The judge saw no “complete evidence” of the minister’s conduct against the administrative inappropriateness that identifies him as a defendant.
To analyze the complaint, the judge only took into account whether or not Salles is making the process of the trial difficult without considering the environmental merits of his actions, as the MPF argues. The TRF-1 member concluded that the minister did not interfere with procedural instructions.
“The precautionary removal of a public representative is an exceptional measure that is only justified if there are indications that his behavior is hindering the procedural instruction. In my opinion, this is not the case,” said Bello in the decision signed on the 24th.
On July 6, 12 prosecutors filed a complaint against Salles for misconduct in the federal court in Brasília. They listed several laws of the minister that demonstrate a reduction in environmental policy.
In the action, prosecutors called for the minister’s immediate dismissal as he continued to carry out actions, omissions, practices and speeches against the environment.
The judiciary postponed a decision in this regard. Judgments were postponed, an appeal was misdistributed, the minister’s convocation was delayed, and even the MPF internal affairs department contested aspects of the improbability lawsuit.
Given this situation, serial resources were available through the MPF. First, an appeal denied an initial decision to refer the wrongdoing to federal court in Santa Catarina, where another lawsuit was being processed. TRF-1 approved the motion and the lawsuit was due to be heard in Brasília.
Prosecutors also had to reiterate their request for the minister to be removed and ask for urgency in analyzing the case.
Finally, on October 28, the MPF appealed to the TRF-1 against the court decision guaranteeing the minister’s stay. The appeal was analyzed by the judge, who handled the case almost a month later, with the decision to keep Salles in office.
The MPF affirmed that the actions of the minister “follow a logic which completely contradicts the state’s duty to implement environmental rights”.
“The effects of the weakening of the administrative structure are immediate, as shown by data on the increase in deforestation and the progress of illegal economic activities in areas with indigenous forests, including indigenous areas and protection units,” quoted one of the prosecutor’s resources.
According to the MPF, the effects of what he calls environmental degradation can be irreversible. “The deregulation of prohibition measures, the demobilization of civil servants and the dismantling of inspections consist of permanent fronts to weaken the federal environmental authorities.”