UPDATE 1-Brazil Environment Minister Salles resigns amid illegal logging probe

(Adds details of logging investigation, U.S.-Brazil talks)

BRASILIA, June 23 (Reuters) - Brazilian Environment Minister Ricardo Salles has resigned, the official government gazette said on Wednesday, amid a criminal investigation into whether he obstructed a police probe of illegal logging in the Amazon rainforest.

Earlier this month, a Supreme Court justice authorized the investigation of Salles, following federal police raids targeting the minister and other officials who allegedly allowed illegal wood exports.

Salles had acted as the lead negotiator for Brazil in talks with the United States over funding to preserve the Amazon rainforest, where deforestation has surged since right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro took office in 2019.

Bolsonaro nominated Joaquim Alvaro Pereira Leite as his replacement, according to the official government gazette. (Reporting by Jake Spring and Gabriel Stargardter Editing by Brad Haynes)

06/23/2021 20:44

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