Brazil's Lula says intelligence services failed in riot

STORY: Intelligence services failed Brazil’s President said on Wednesday when supporters of far-right former President Jair Bolsonaro stormed Brasilia buildings on the 8th January.

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva spoke to Globo TV.

“We have many intelligences here. We have Army intelligence, Air Force intelligence, ABIN; none of them warned me.”

The fresh remarks come as Lula's criticism of the military mounts for failing to act against the rioting Bolsonaro supporters.

Lula had previously said he suspected there was collusion by "people in the armed forces" in the insurrection, during which several thousand of Bolsonaro supporters invaded and ransacked the Congress building, the presidential palace and the Supreme Court.

Lula stressed he would like to maintain civilized relations with Brazil's armed forces but noted they must not be politicized.

Meanwhile Brazil's first raids under Lula’s rule began against illegal deforestation in the Amazon rainforest.

It's part of Lula’s pledge to end destruction that surged under Bolsonaro.

Reuters exclusively accompanied environmental agency Ibama in the rainforest state of Para in the search for criminals.

Satellite images showed loggers and ranchers recently at work clearing the forest illegally.

Givanildo dos Santos Lima is the agent leading Ibama's Uruara mission.

He says sixteen missions are scheduled this year.

“The discourse of the former government created a mindset amongst people, causing many to invade areas and deforest, planting farms, thinking that the government would eliminate indigenous lands and legalise these invasions for cattle production.”

The mission aims to stop or scare off loggers to avoid further incursions into the forest and to issue fines to those caught with illegal wood.

An area larger than Denmark was deforested under Bolsonaro, a 60% increase from the prior four years.

His government also cut funding for environmental enforcement by Ibama.

On the campaign trail Lula pledged to put Ibama back in charge with beefed-up funding and personnel.

He took office on Jan. 1, so additional money and staff have yet to reach the front-line enforcers.

But Ibama agents told Reuters that they already felt more empowered by Lula announcing environmental protection as a top priority.