The ex Amazon chief trying to save the rainforest

A day after leading the largest seizure of illegal lumber in Brazil's history, police chief Alexandre Saraiva was repaid with a demotion.

A move, he says, was fueled by corruption.

(Portuguese) FEDERAL POLICE CHIEF, ALEXANDRE SARAIVA: "They steal and amass land and the procedures should be public but they're not. Nobody has access to them and when one is opened to be scrutinized it doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to find corruption."

Amazon deforestation has surged under President Jair Bolsonaro, who supports further opening the Amazon for mining and agriculture.

Last year, an area larger than Lebanon was cut from the rainforest.

Brazil's former Environment Minister Ricardo Salles resigned in June amid a criminal investigation into whether he obstructed a federal police probe of illegal logging.

After calling for a probe into the role of Salles in the illegal wood trade, Saraiva was relegated to a police job several thousand miles from the Amazon.

So now, he is taking a new tack to fight illegal logging.

SINGING: "The Earth bleeds and burns. The fire flies and kills. I can't lie and rest. I can't just stay still."

In a duet with a singer known as Esther, Saraiva levels his charges in "SOS AMAZON" with lyrics by Cristina Saraiva.

The song was released on social media as leaders gathered at the United Nations climate summit (COP26) in Glasgow.

CRISTINA SARAIVA (Portuguese): "I wrote SOS Amazon inspired by him, inspired by the sadness of watching our forest being destroyed every day. And each day that we fail to act, a huge area is destroyed and thousands of trees are cut down."

The police chief says the European Union is the main buyer of illegal timber from the Amazon, and is calling for better auditing and tougher EU regulations.

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