Money, Power and Law: campaign financing from environmental offenders in the Legal Amazon and legal bills in the Brazilian National Congress

CIPÓ develops and carries out methodologies for mapping and analyzing the main stakeholders and their performance, capabilities, and gaps. Based on the collection of data and creation of databases that allow us to systematically identify the dynamics and impacts of different actors, CIPÓ issues publications on topics such as environmental crimes, international cooperation, and climate governance. As part of its work on environmental crimes in Brazil, Plataforma CIPÓ, in partnership with Lagom Data, has produced a series of interactive infographics and databases containing data and information on:

  • Campaign donations to candidates running in the 2018 elections (including candidates for the National Congress, state legislative assemblies, the presidency and governor offices) by individuals and business partners held responsible for environmental violations in the Legal Amazon (Brazil’s definition of the region that encompasses the Amazon biome located in Brazilian territory, comprising parts of nine different states) through measures such as fines and/or embargoes;
  • The performance of Brazilian parliamentarians elected by the states of the Legal Amazon, based on an analysis of legal bills on socio-environmental topics proposed between 01/1/2019 and 05/24/2022, which is the basis for the Socio-Environmental Legislative Radar.

A more in-depth analysis of the methodology and data that created the interactive graphs and the Socio-environmental Legislative Radar, available in the link below, is included in the strategic report “Money, Power and Law: campaign financing from environmental offenders in the Legal Amazon and legal bills in the Brazilian National Congress“.

Follow the analysis on the next slides.

In the 2018 elections, 422 candidates (including candidates for the National Congress, the Presidency, state legislative assemblies and state governments) received donations from individuals who sanctioned as a result of environmental violations in the Legal Amazon (fines and/or embargoes) as individuals or, indirectly, through partner companies.

Of those, 156 were elected in 26 Brazilian states and the Federal District — thus becoming able to create, vote or sanction measures with a potential impact on the environment.

Embargoed areas in the Legal Amazon

The map below illustrates the location of land embargoed by Ibama in the Legal Amazon that belonged to campaign funders in the 2018 elections or to companies in which they were partners.

By hovering the cursor over the map, it is possible to visualize the type of environmental violation that gave rise to the embargo, the municipality where the embargo took place, and the name of the offending individual and/or company.

Candidates funded by environmental offenders

The graph below illustrates the number of candidates (elected and non-elected), by position and by state of the federation, who received campaign funding from individuals who committed violations or from partners of infringing companies that were subject to a fine and/or embargo in the Legal Amazon between July 1998 and February 2022.

By clicking on a certain position (or state), it is possible to view the name, desired position, position and party of the candidates (elected andnon-elected), depending on the filter selected by the user.

The states of Mato Grosso (62 candidates), Rondônia (58), São Paulo (45) and Tocantins (25) had the highest number of candidates funded by environmental offenders.

In Mato Grosso, out of the 62 candidates who received financial resources from offenders, 19 were elected. This number represents half of the state’s Legislative Assembly, 5 from the 8 federal deputies, one of the two elected senators and the governor elected in 2018.

Donations from environmental offenders to elected candidates

The graph below shows that, among the elected candidates, the largest volumes of resources from donors who received environmental sanctions in the Legal Amazon between 1998 and 2022 were destined to candidates in the states of Mato Grosso, São Paulo and Rondônia.

By hovering the cursor over the map, it is possible to explore the total value of donations from environmental offenders to elected candidates and how they were distributed by position and by state.

Candidates financed by environmental offenders per political party

The graph below illustrates the distribution of elected candidates who received donations from individuals who violated or from partners of infringing companies (on which fines and/or embargos were imposed in the Legal Amazon), by party and by state.

By clicking on the name of the party or position, it is possible to view the name of each elected candidate. Note that parliamentarians may have changed parties since the 2018 election.

In descending order, those belonging to the following parties stand out: PSDB (17), DEM (16), MDB (15), PSB (12), PP (12), PSL (10), PSD (9), PT (9), Novo (8) and SOLIDARIEDADE (6). Candidates funded by environmental offenders are part of almost all the Brazilian political parties.

Bills and their potential socio-environmental impact

The Socio-Environmental Legislative Radar produced by Plataforma CIPÓ compiled bills (in Portuguese, Projetos de Lei – PLs) on socio-environmental themes introduced by parliamentarians from the Legal Amazon between 01/01/2019 and 05/24/2022. From this, the PLs were evaluated based on three categories: potentially positive, potentially negative or inconclusive.

By crossing the authorship and co-authorship of these projects with data on candidates financed by environmental offenders in the Legal Amazon, we found that 16 deputies from the Legal Amazon and 5 senators from the region were authors or co-authors of bills with potential socio-environmental impact.

Data on all candidates funded by environmental offenders in the Legal Amazon

The table below lists all candidates (including candidates for the National Congress, the Presidency, state legislative assemblies and state governments) who received donations from environmental offenders in the Legal Amazon.

It is possible to view the name of candidates who received funding from offenders, their position, party, state and their final status (elected, unelected or alternate); the name of the donor; how the donors were sanctioned (directly as individuals or indirectly through companies in which they are partners); the type of sanction (fine or embargo); and the amount donated to the campaign.

The search bar allows you to search by name of candidates or donors. It is not possible to determine whether all partners of infringing companies were aware of the environmental infractions.

The data contained above result from the crossing of public databases of the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama) and the Superior Electoral Court (TSE)

Environmental sanctions in the Legal Amazon applied against campaign donors

The table below lists environmental sanctions in the Legal Amazon applied to campaign donors. It is possible to visualize the sanctioned target (directly as individuals or indirectly through companies in which they are partners); the type of sanction (fine or embargo); the name of the donor or the company in which they are partners; the state and municipality where the infraction would have occurred; the type of infraction and its legal framework; the temporality of the infraction (before 2000; before 2010; between 2011 and 2018; and between January 2019 and February 2022); and the status of the fine (for approval, paid off, in installments, in the judicial collection, filed, canceled, among others).

The search bar allows you to search by name of donors. It is not possible to determine whether all partners of infringing companies were aware of the environmental infractions.

The data contained above result from the crossing of public databases of the Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (Ibama) and the Superior Electoral Court (TSE)

Click here to access the database on which the slides above are based.

Socio-Environmental Legislative Radar

This database is not an exhaustive compendium of legal bills; its complete methodology can be found here. Users should also be aware that, due to rapid changes in the legal, political and institutional dynamics of the environmental area in Brazil, some information may not be up to date, especially with regard to advances in the processing of legal bills.