New York gala for Brazil's Bolsonaro loses some sponsors

New York (AFP) –


Several companies have ditched plans to sponsor a gala honoring Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro in New York, after thousands of people demanded it be scrapped.

The gala, organized by the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce for May 14, had been due to be held at the New York Museum of Natural History, before it pulled out of hosting the event under pressure from public opinion against the far-right leader and his record.

On Friday, US airline Delta, British daily Financial Times and consulting firm Bain & Company all confirmed to AFP that they would not sponsor the dinner as planned.

Every year, the Brazilian-American Chamber of Commerce awards a prize to a Brazilian and an American at a gala dinner, with famous guests on hand. The event -- which costs $30,000 a plate -- is sold out.

Protesters have been gathering every night outside the Marriott Marquis Hotel in Times Square, seeking the complete cancellation of the event, at which Jair Bolsonaro is to receive the Person of the Year award.

Elected late October with an ultraconservative agenda, Bolsonaro has been widely criticized for his environmental policy.

Since taking office in January, he has reduced or eliminated funding for indigenous protection organizations.

He also placed them under the responsibility of the Minister of Agriculture, Tereza Cristina Dias, who is close to the massive agri-business industry, which is accused of aggravating deforestation.