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Brazil's president calls Greta Thunberg a 'brat'

Brazil’s president has called climate campaigner Greta Thunberg “a brat” after she tweeted about the murder of two indigenous people in the Amazon.

Jair Bolsonaro questioned the coverage given to the 16-year-old Swedish activist after she shared a link to a story about the killings in Maranhao state.

“Greta said that the Indians died because they were defending the Amazon,” said Mr Bolsonaro.

“It’s impressive that the press is giving space to a brat like that.”

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Thunberg promptly changed her Twitter bio to simply read: “pirralha” – the Portuguese for brat.

Accompanying the story, she wrote: “Indigenous people are literally being murdered for trying to protect the forest from illegal deforestation. Over and over again. It is shameful that the world remains silent about this.”

Her comments on Sunday came as the UN was holding its international climate change conference, where Brazil’s environmental policies have been criticised.

More from Brazil

The Amazon rainforest, near Porto Velho in Brazil, one of the areas affected by fire over the summer

Image: A recent report said Amazon deforestation was getting worse

Mr Bolsonaro has been accused of not doing enough to protect the Amazon where large areas have been hit by major fires in recent months.

The controversial president argues conservation policies hinder economic development, has rolled back measures to limit deforestation and is accused of reducing efforts to fight illegal logging, mining and ranching.

A recent report said deforestation in the rainforest rose by almost a third last year, its highest rate for more than a decade.

The Amazon is considered key to the fight against climate change because of the vast amounts of carbon dioxide it absorbs.

Mr Bolsonaro’s comment is not the first time that the teenage campaigner has been on the end of a barbed comment by a world leader.

In September, President Trump responded to a video of Thunberg’s angry UN speech over climate change inaction by tweeting sarcastically: “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future. So nice to see!”

Thunberg also hit back on that occasion, lifting the president’s words “very happy girl” comment for her Twitter bio.

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