Leonardo DiCaprio Slams Brazil's President Over 'Set The Amazon On Fire' Claims
Actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio has penned a strongly-worded statement to the leader of Brazil.
President Jair Bolsonaro, who has been nicknamed by media outlets as the 'Trump of the Tropics', hit out at DiCaprio over money the actor donated to help protect the Amazon from wildfires that tore through the rainforest earlier this year.
Bolsonaro claimed DiCaprio donated funds to unnamed non-profit organisations whom he accused of intentionally starting the devastating blazes which ripped through nearly one million hectares of forest.
“DiCaprio is a cool guy, isn’t he? Giving money to set the Amazon on fire,” the president said to supporters in Brasilia, AP reported.
The comments came after a respected NGO in Alter do Chão was raided by police and four volunteer firefighters were jailed (but later freed by a judge) on suspicion of starting fires to solicit international donations.
DiCaprio has now responded to the claims, writing that he supports "the people of Brazil working to save their natural and cultural heritage".
"The future of these irreplaceable ecosystems is at stake and I am proud to stand with the groups protecting them," the actor wrote.
"While worthy of support, we did not fund the organizations targeted."
AP reports federal prosecutors in Brazil have pointed the finger at "land grabbers" for starting the fires as a way to clear forest areas for farming and logging, and that firefighters and non-profits were not responsible for lighting the blazes.
Main Images: Getty.