Revealed: The surprising country Brazil is terrified of

There was growing tension between Brazil and France last year.
There was growing tension between Brazil and France last year. Photo credit: Getty

Brazil could face military threats from France in the next 20 years, a leaked report warns, with fears the Amazon could be invaded.

The report comes after growing tension between the country's two presidents last year. French President Emmanuel Macron's office accused Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro of lying when he downplayed concerns over climate change at the G20 summit in June.

Brazil faced global condemnation after a record number of fires swept through the Amazon rainforest.

Cited in Brazilian newspaper Folha de São Paulo, the leaked report outlines four military scenarios. In all four of those, the newspaper reports France as being a threat.

One of the scenarios speculates that France could demand the UN back an intervention in indigenous lands in the Amazon. Brazil's Mura indigenous tribe, for example, has already struggled for nearly 20 years to have the land around their village in the Amazon made an official indigenous reserve, but Bolsonaro has vowed not to set aside any more tribal land.

"The only constant threat in all cases is France, reflecting the clash between Bolsonaro and President Emmanuel Macron in the second half of 2019, when the Frenchman suggested the internationalisation of the Amazon in the face of the region's fire crisis," Folha says, citing the report.

Brazil's Ministry of Defense, however, insists the report is just an "academic document". In a statement, the ministry said the document cited by the newspaper didn't reflect the position of the Government.

"It is academic work, developed within a school, which reflects the first phase of a preparatory study, it is important to highlight that prospective scenarios are tools employed by any successful corporation or country and that academic freedom is one of the fundamental requirements excellence of any higher education institution.

"Naturally, the referred work needs critical analysis by this ministry, for the elaboration of eventual final scenarios."

The French embassy in Brazil, meanwhile, has also played down the report, saying armed forces from all countries often carry out these types of exercises.

"However, we welcome the limitless imagination of the authors of this report," the embassy said in a statement.

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