"Brazil’s Environment Minister Resigns Amid Criticism, Probes"

"RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazilian Environment Minister Ricardo Salles announced his resignation Wednesday, giving up his post amid sharp criticism of his tenure and two investigations into his actions involving allegedly illegal timber operations.

The move comes as talks with the U.S. government aimed at curbing Amazon deforestation have hit obstacles. Salles had insisted Brazil needs external financial support to take stronger action, while critics cautioned Washington to await concrete results before reaching any agreement with a Brazilian administration that has hobbled enforcement of environmental laws.

“I understand that Brazil this year and next, for its international and national agenda, needs a very strong union of interests and efforts and, so that can be done as smoothly as possible, I tendered my resignation to the president,“ Salles told reporters at the presidential palace."

David Biller and Marcelo Silva De Sousa report for the Associated Press June 23, 2021.

Source: AP, 06/24/2021