Elon Musk traveled to Brazil on Friday to discuss projects to protect the Amazon rainforest with President Jair Bolsonaro, ministers said, in a push for the far-right leader who is facing mounting criticism at home and abroad for increased deforestation under its watch.
The visit of Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla in negotiations for the purchase of the social network Twitter, follows a meeting in November with the Brazilian Minister of Communications Fabio Faria. They then talked about using SpaceX technology to bring the Internet to rural schools and combat illegal deforestation.
Faria confirmed Musk’s visit “to discuss Amazon connectivity and protection” in a tweet on Friday, and Bolsonaro’s chief of staff said the president himself would attend the meeting. On Thursday, Bolsonaro spoke of an imminent “meeting with an internationally recognized person who will come to help our Amazon”.
Bolsonaro, who criticizes major tech companies for their efforts to combat disinformation on social media, celebrated the news that Twitter accepted Musk’s initial offer for the company. He has also been trying for years to lure Tesla to Brazil, where the company has no retail presence.