Parts of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil are sold illegally via Facebook, writes the BBC. This would include protected natural areas and stretches of jungle reserved for indigenous residents.
Some ads offer territories the size of a thousand football fields for sale. According to the British broadcaster, many vendors openly admit that they do not have any ownership papers. The illegal rags of land are mainly used for animal husbandry after the vegetation has been cut down.
The land is put for sale via Facebook Marketplace. The American tech company tells the BBC that it will not remove such ads on its own. However, the company is ready to help local authorities if it turns out that buyers or sellers are breaking the law.
For people like Fabricio Guimarães, the online marketplace is an instrument for trafficking in illegal land. “There is no risk of government control here,” the BBC quotes the man captured on hidden cameras. After burning down the woodland, according to the news channel, his land had become worth three times as much.
“ This is a lack of respect,” responds leader Bitaté Uru Eu Wau Wau of an indigenous tribe against the BBC. He calls on Facebook and the government to intervene quickly.
Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon region rose last year to its highest level in 12 years. Researchers and environmentalists say deforestation has accelerated since President Bolsonaro took office. He is a supporter of the exploitation of the rainforest.