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Bolsonaro calls Amazon deforestation data 'lies'

Published: July 20, 2019
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Source: bbc.com

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has accused his own country's national space institute of lying about the scale of deforestation in the Amazon.

He said the institute was smearing Brazil's reputation abroad by publishing data showing a dramatic increase in deforestation there.

The far-right president said he wanted to meet with the head of the agency to discuss the issue.

The National Space Research Institute (Inpe) says its data is 95% accurate.

Mr Bolsonaro's comments on Friday came a day after preliminary satellite data released by Inpe showed that more than 1,000 sq km (400 sq miles) of the rainforest had been cleared in the first 15 days of July - an increase of 68% from the entire month of July 2018.

Speaking in a meeting with foreign journalists, Mr Bolsonaro said the data "doesn't relate to the reality".

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