On Tuesday, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro called Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg a “brat” after she spoke out against the growing violence Indigenous communities in the Amazon face for protecting their land.
TIME reports that the 16-year-old internationally recognized environmental justice fighter tweeted Sunday a video about two Indigenous individuals who were murdered in Brazil’s Maranhao state, writing: “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.”
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
When journalists at a press conference mentioned Thunberg’s post, Bolsonaro criticized them for giving her attention.
“Greta said that the Indians died because they were defending the Amazon. It’s impressive that the press is giving space to a brat like that,” he told reporters, using the Portuguese word ”pirralha.”
Not long after, Thunberg changed the bio on her Twitter profile to “pirralha,” which is a derogatory word that means “brat.” She has since removed it.
In the teen’s Sunday post, she was referencing the deaths of two men from the Guajajara tribe who worked to protect the rainforest until they were fatally shot Saturday during a drive-by shooting. The group has experienced an uptick in violence as they protect their land and communities from loggers.
Thunberg’s reflection on the killing occurred while the United Nations hosted its international Framework Convention on Climate Change in Madrid, where the Bolsonaro administration’s policies around the environment have largely been criticized.