Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has called young Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg a “brat” after she expressed concern about the killings of indigenous Brazilians in the Amazon.
Mr Bolsonaro questioned the coverage news media have given to the 16-year-old, who who on Sunday tweeted a link to a story about the murder of two indigenous people in Brazil’s Maranhao state.
Indigenous people are literally being murdered for trying to protect the forrest from illegal deforestation. Over and over again. It is shameful that the world remains silent about this. https://t.co/u1eLE8t0K4
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) December 8, 2019
“Greta said that the Indians died because they were defending the Amazon,” Mr Bolsonaro told a group of journalists.
“It’s impressive that the press is giving space to a brat like that,” he added, using the Portuguese word word ”pirralha”.
Following his comments, Greta changed the bio on her Twitter profile to say “Pirralha”.
She became a symbol for youth demanding radical change to confront climate change when she sparked global school strikes.
Her comments about the deaths of the indigenous people came as the UN was hosting its international climate change conference, where Brazil’s environmental policies have been the subject of criticism.
Deforestation of its Amazon rose nearly 30% in the 12 months to July.
“Indigenous people are being literally murdered for trying to protect the forrest from illegal deforestation,” she tweeted. “Over and over again. It is shameful that the world remains silent about this.”