Brazil Sinks 'Toxic' Decommissioned Aircraft Carrier In Atlantic After Far-Left President Lula Fails To Intervene
Brazil has unleashed anger from environmental activists around the globe after the government ordered the sinking of a decommissioned aircraft carrier in the Atlantic Ocean, a plan carried out on Friday.
The "planned and controlled sinking occurred late in the afternoon” about 220 miles off the Brazilian coast, in a place with an "approximate depth of 5,000 meters [16,000 feet]," Brazil’s Navy confirmed in a statement.
"Regarding the hull of the decommissioned aircraft carrier 'Sao Paulo' … we inform that the operation of a planned and controlled sinking was carried out late in the afternoon, February 3, in strict accordance with the plan," the navy explained.
Though the navy said it sunk the ship in the safest possible area, after authorities couldn't find a port that would permanently house the huge, 60-year old carrier, environmentalists are outraged and called on recently installed Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to halt the navy plans on an emergency basis.
The activists have described that the carrier is filled with toxic materials, including asbestos and heavy metals which will inevitably flow into the ocean water and harm marine life.
The carrier is also said to be rusting badly, and authorities deemed it a safety risk if anchored directly off the coast, given environmental factors so close to the shoreline and human civilization.
Some international monitors went so far as to call Brazil's actions a "state sponsored environmental crime"...
Intentionally sinking the toxic aircraft carrier São Paulo would equate to a state-sponsored environmental crime. https://t.co/efiH9KLVSI— NGO Shipbreaking Platform (@NGOShipbreaking) January 21, 2023
International appeals for Brazil's far-left president to block the navy plan didn't result in any direct intervention:
A day before the sinking, the Brazilian attorney general's office filed a new appeal before the Justice Department, saying the ship was carrying 9.6 tons of asbestos, a toxic substance, as well as 644 tons of inks and "other dangerous material."
The Basel Action Network (BAN), an NGO, called on Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to immediately halt the "dangerous" plan.
The president, commonly referred to as Lula, took office last month and vowed to reverse surging environmental destruction that took place under the far-right former President Jai Bolsonaro.
Brazil’s defense ministry had argued ahead of the sinking that a prior plan to hire a Turkish company to chop up the ship for scrap metal "represented an unprecedented attempt" by Brazil to safely dispose of it through "environmentally sound recycling".
However, that earlier plan failed after Turkish authorities blocked the company from following through, given it required a tug boat to pull it through the Mediterranean Sea, and this was deemed too risky.