Brazil’s president accuses Leonardo DiCaprio of funding fires in the Amazon

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Friday accused American actor Leonardo DiCaprio of funding fires that torched the Amazon rainforest, while not offering evidence.

“This Leonardo DiCaprio is a cool guy, right? Giving money to torch the Amazon,” Bolsonaro said, according to Reuters.

Bolsonaro’s comments came after social media posts claimed that the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) had paid for photos of forest fires in the Amazon from volunteer firefighters and then used the photos to solicit donations — including a $500,000 pledge from DiCaprio, Reuters reports.

In a statement to Reuters, DiCaprio praised “the people of Brazil working to save their natural and cultural heritage,” adding that “while worthy of support, we did not fund the organizations targeted” by Bolsonaro.

The WWF has denied that DiCaprio donated to the organization and that they got photos from the firefighters.

Bolsonaro has lashed out at several people and entities in blaming them for the forest fires, saying in August, without evidence, that “everything indicates” non-governmental organizations were responsible for setting the blazes in the forest.

On Thursday, he said: “So what did the NGO do? What is the easiest thing? Set fire to the forest. Take pictures, make a video,” the president said. “(WWF) makes a campaign against Brazil, it contacts Leonardo DiCaprio, he donates $500,000.”

He added: “A part of that went to the people that were setting fires. Leonardo DiCaprio, you are contributing to the fire in the Amazon, that won’t do.”

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Written by Alan Smith

Alan Smith

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