Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro Tuesday called 16-year-old climate activist Greta Thunberg a “brat” after she tweeted about indigenous people who had been murdered while trying to protect the Amazon from deforestation.
“Greta said that the Indians died because they were defending the Amazon,” Bolsonaro told reporters. “It’s impressive that the press is giving space to a brat like that.”
On Sunday, Thunberg tweeted, “Indigenous people are being literally murdered for trying to protect the forrest (sic) from illegal deforestation. Over and over again. It is shameful that the world remains silent about this.”
After Bolsonaro’s comment, Thunberg briefly changed her Twitter profile to read “pirralha,” the Portuguese word for brat.
The 16-year-old became a sensation last summer when she arrived in the United States after sailing across the Atlantic on a racing boat from Plymouth, England, to avoid air travel's carbon footprint.
Since then, she has traveled around the country advocating for climate change awareness and action.
She left the country last month and is attending the U.N. international climate change conference where Brazil’s environmental policies have come under scrutiny.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.