Just invested Lula signs edicts on arms and the Amazon

Just invested, Lula signs edicts on arms and the Amazon

The 77-year-old left-wing president has curtailed the ability to buy guns and ammunition, reactivated the Amazon Fund and signed an increase in the minimum wage.

Just invested, Brazil’s new left-wing president, Lula, signed decrees to limit the use of weapons and strengthen protection in the Amazon, taking the opposite view of the government of his far-right predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro.

Within 24 hours of his inauguration on Sunday in the Brazilian capital, the 77-year-old left-wing icon began making good on his key campaign promises.

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Suspension of Weapons Registration

Through a decree published in the Gazette on Monday, Lula suspended the re-registration of hunter-gatherer and sport shooter firearms and ammunition (collectively known as the CAC) for two months. This category has tripled its arsenal in Bolsonaro’s four-year tenure to reach one million registered weapons.

Lula also restricted the ability to purchase guns and ammunition for certain approved uses and suspended the issuance of new licenses for CACs and new registrations for shooting clubs and schools. Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva also set up a working group to propose new regulations for the Disarmament Law, in force since 2003 and his then first government, which aims to disarm civilians. “The arms control decree aims to end the irresponsible + everything goes + time that is inconsistent with the Constitution,” said Flavio Dino, Minister of Justice and Public Security of Lula, on Twitter.

Strengthening the protection of the Amazon

The new head of state also signed a series of decrees aimed at strengthening the protection of the Amazon, whose average annual deforestation has increased by 75% compared to the previous decade. In particular, Lula established a “Permanent Interministerial Commission for the Prevention and Control of Deforestation” and decided to reactivate the Fund for the Amazon, established in 2008, to raise funds for investments in the forest with a view to its conservation.

The Amazon fund had been frozen since 2019 due to disagreements over where the funds should be used between Norway and Germany, the main donors, and the Bolsonaro government. These two countries have announced their intention to replenish it. Lula also revoked a decree authorizing mining on indigenous lands and in conservation areas.

Bolsa Família

On Sunday, in the midst of the investiture ceremony, Lula signed an edict aimed at expanding the popular Bolsa Familia program, which grants 600 reais, or around 111 euros, a month to the poorest families. It’s a campaign promise made after careful negotiations with Parliament in December to allow the program to escape the public spending ceiling.

»SEE ALSO – In Brazil, Lula arrives at Congress ahead of his inauguration as President

Lula also signed an increase in the minimum wage from 1,212 to 1,320 reais (about 245 euros), a decision that had not yet been published in the Official Journal on Monday. About 125 million of the country’s 215 million Brazilians are food insecure and 30 million are hungry.

Review of Bolsonaro’s decisions

Lula also halted the Bolsonaro-led privatization process of eight public companies, including oil company Petrobras and Brazil Post. He warned during the campaign that he does not want public groups to be privatised. Within thirty days, the Brazilian President has ordered a review of the numerous decisions by his predecessor Jair Bolsonaro to keep government information and documents confidential.

For a hundred years, Jair Bolsonaro has repeatedly decreed the confidentiality of public documents to prohibit access to them, such as those concerning his vaccinations or his visits to former First Lady Michelle Bolsonaro. Lula eventually ordered the General Secretariat of the Presidency to work on creating a new program called “Pro-Catador” that would promote and improve the working conditions of garbage collectors.