World Bolsonaro reaffirms Greek ship at fault for Brazil oil spill
Oil Spill in Brazil Hits Breeding Grounds for Humpback Whales
The mysterious oil spill that hit Brazil’s coastline two months ago has reached the archipelago of Abrolhos, a national marine park that’s home to the greatest biodiversity in the southern Atlantic Ocean -- the waters where humpback whales migrate to breed. Defense Minister Fernando Azevedo e Silva flew over the five islands that comprise Abrolhos park located off the southern coast of Bahia in the northeast of Brazil on Sunday to monitor the impact. Small fragments of oil were spotted in some locations, Brazil’s Navy said on Saturday. The oil also threatens Abrolhos’ highly sensitive coral reefs.
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has stuck to the government's assertion that a Greek freighter caused an oil spill that has hit over 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) of coastline despite the shipowner's denial of any leakage from its vessel.
Bolsonaro said in an interview with Record TV late Sunday that, "All signs point to this Greek cargo ship. All of them." He added that the leak, "by all accounts looks like it was criminal."
Outrage over killing of 'forest guardian' in Brazil's Amazon
Activists expressed outrage Sunday at the killing of an indigenous "guardian of the forest" in Brazil's Amazon and called on the government to thwart illegal loggers in the region. Three other forest guardians have died in previous attacks there, Survival International said. Brazil's National Indian Foundation, Funai, issued a statement lamenting the death of Paulo Paulino, and said it would send a special team of technical experts to the area.
Brazil's government has been striving to investigate the cause of the spill that has hit 321 beaches along the northeast coast since early September, hurting fishing and tourism. Authorities have described the spill as one of the country's worst environmental disasters. Though tracking the origin of the crude has been impeded by its high density that renders it invisible from above.
Shipowner Delta Tankers Ltd issued a statement earlier saying it found no evidence of leakage after reviewing the ship's cameras and sensors.
"This material will be willingly shared with Brazilian authorities, should they contact the company regarding this investigation. So far, no such contact has been made," the statement said.
Brazil's Bolsonaro Says 'Worst Is Yet To Come' On Oil Spill
Brazilian authorities have named a Greek-flagged tanker as the prime suspect for spilling crude oil off the country's northeast coast"What came so far and what was collected is a small amount of what was spilled," Bolsonaro said in an interview with Record television.
Brazilian prosecutors said that Delta's oil tanker, named Bouboulina, was navigating through Brazilian waters at the time and location of the spill. The ship was carrying oil from Venezuela to Malaysia.
In a search order seen Friday by The Associated Press, Brazilian prosecutors said "there is no indication of another boat" that could have discharged the Venezuelan crude into the sea.
Some 4,000 tons of oil has been collected from northeastern beaches, according to a statement Sunday from the Navy, Brazil's environmental regulator, and the national petroleum agency.
In a press conference on Monday, Brazil's defense minister, Gen. Fernando Azevedo e Silva, called the spill "unprecedented."
"This is a disaster that had never happened in Brazil, or in the world, with this kind of oil," he said, referring to the type of crude that sinks below the ocean's surface. "It's not detectable by satellite. ... its imperceptible. We don't know how much will still come."
Brazil's Bolsonaro says 'worst is yet to come' on oil spill
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said Sunday that "the worst is yet to come" with an oil spill that has affected more than 200 beaches on the country's coast. "What came so far and what was collected is a small amount of what was spilled," Bolsonaro said in an interview with Record television. He said he did not know if additional oil would impact his country's coastline, but that "everything indicates that the currents went to the coast of Brazil.
In the TV interview on Sunday, Bolsonaro gave a cryptic warning, saying that, "The worst is yet to come," but didn't explain further.
David Zee, an oceanographer at the State University of Rio de Janeiro, said that the 4,000 tons of collected oil is "just the tip of the iceberg," both because the cleanup effort is mostly limited to sandy beaches in populated areas and also because a large portion of spilled oil is likely spread deep beneath the ocean's surface.
Furthermore, when currents bring oil to sandy shores, it's relatively easy to collect, while is nearly impossible to remove from corals and mangrove forests, which make up a part of the affected area, Zee said.
Brazilian armed forces along with environmental protection agencies and petroleum authorities are leading an operation to clean and monitor the oil spill and investigate its origins. Several public universities are conducting research about the spill, its origins and impact. Television footage has also shown volunteers flocking to beaches to help with the cleanup, often without government supervision.
Of particular concern at the moment is the Abrolhos national marine park, home to Brazil's largest coral reefs. Authorities said Sunday night that they had removed the fragments of oil that had appeared in the park and so far no new traces had been found.
Freed ex-president tells crowd Brazil's left can win in 2022 .
Freed from his cell, former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva told thousands of jubilant supporters Saturday that the left can take back Brazil's presidency in the 2022 election. Dressed in a black blazer and T-shirt, da Silva spoke from a stage outside the union near Sao Paulo that he once led and that served as the base for his political career. The crowd of red-clad supporters cheered and waved flags.