The Amazon is burning and Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro is making wild claims. The leader, often referred to as the “Trump of the Tropics,” wildly stated that actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio was paying rebels to burn the Amazon in order to raise more funding. As reported by Deadline, Bolsonaro’s attacks on DiCaprio are believed to be tied to the arrest of four volunteer firefighters earlier this week who were accused of setting fire to a share of the forest. They allegedly were attempting to encourage fundraising for an unnamed international non-governmental organization, or NGO, that was rumored to have ties with DiCaprio.
Bolsonaro first used Facebook to attack DiCaprio and then reportedly told supporters, “This Leonardo DiCaprio’s a cool guy, isn’t he? Giving money for the Amazon to be torched.” He also made a statement via a Facebook live broadcast. “Leonardo DiCaprio, dammit, you’re collaborating with the burning of the Amazon,” Bolsonaro said, stating that the actor was part of an international “campaign against Brazil.” He offered no evidence to support his claims.
DiCaprio responded to the Brazilian president on Instagram. “While worthy of support, we did not fund the organizations targeted,” he explained. “I remain committed to supporting the Brazilian indigenous communities, local governments, scientists, educators and general public who are working tirelessly to secure the Amazon for the future of all Brazilians.”