Greer calls on Scot Gov to end support for arms dealers supplying Brazil

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With the inauguration in Brazil yesterday of a fascist president, any link between Scottish public funds and weapons firms that target Brazil must be stopped. Ross Greer MSP

Scottish Greens international relations spokesperson Ross Greer MSP today (2 Jan) called on the Scottish Government to end its financial support of arms dealers supplying the Brazilian government, following yesterday’s inauguration of the openly fascist Jair Bolsonaro as Brazilian president.

In a letter to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Mr Greer points out that Chemring Energetics, based in North Ayrshire, has received £196,355 of public funds from government agency Scottish Enterprise over the last 10 years. The firm supplies detonators, actuators, rocket motors, high explosive charges, high explosives, and demolition stores. It targets Brazil as a growth market and in 2015 applied for a licence to export military explosives to Brazil.

Chemring-manufactured tear gas has been used against pro-democracy protestors from Egypt to Hong Kong and there is major worldwide concern that Bolsonaro will violently put down any protests against his presidency, given his threats of a ‘purge’ of opponents, his lamenting that Brazil’s previous military dictatorship did not kill more people and his defense of extra-judicial killing and torture. [2][3]

Ross Greer MSP said:

“Over the last two years the Greens have revealed the Scottish Government’s links with alleged Saudi war crimes in Yemen, Turkey’s attempted genocide of the Kurds and the oppression of pro-democracy protestors across the world. Now, with an unambiguous fascist inaugurated yesterday in Brazil they have the opportunity to get out ahead of a looming disaster and cut their taxpayer handouts to any company supplying arms to Bolsonaro’s government.

“This is a man who has glorified the military dictatorship and has a long history of appalling views in relation to women, the LGBTI+ community, indigenous Brazilians, the trade union movement and more. It is extremely likely that this former army captain will use his military and police force against his own people and it would be sickening to know that Scottish taxpayers money has helped him do that.

“While SNP MPs in Westminster have been actively pressuring the UK Government to stop arms exports to Saudi Arabia, SNP Ministers have attempted to justify their awards of public cash to some of the world’s largest arms dealers. Scottish Government financial support to arms companies cannot be disentangled from the abuses carried out using these companies’ products, especially when they have been so regularly unable or unwilling to explain precisely what the money goes towards. [4]

“Scottish Government financial support to arms companies cannot be disentangled from the abuses carried out using these companies’ products. With the inauguration in Brazil yesterday of a fascist president, any link between Scottish public funds and weapons firms that target Brazil must be stopped.”