Earlier this week, the nationalist president of Brazil Jair Bolsonaro accused Oscar-winning actor and environmentalist Leonardo DiCaprio of causing the forest fires in the Amazon. Bolsonaro issued a statement saying, “This Leonardo DiCaprio’s a cool guy, isn’t he? Giving money for the Amazon to be torched.”  This comes after the president has called out several unknown NGOs claiming they are purposely lighting the Amazon on fire, in an effort to dismantle the president’s reputation on an international scale.

This comes after four firefighters were arrested by Brazilian authorities under the accusation that they were responsible for igniting more fires in the Amazon in attempt to garner more private donations. After global outcry and protest against the arrests, the firefighters were released from custody as there was no evidence supporting the claims by the president. Bolsonaro is known as the “Trump of the Tropics.”  Many international critics alike believe this is an attempt by the Brazilian president to deflect from his own failures to protect one the vital Amazon ecosystems.

Bolsonaro’s son took to Twitter on Thanksgiving to accuse DiCaprio of donating $300,000 to the NGO he accused of being responsible for setting fire to the Amazon. These accusations come after DiCaprio pledged $5 million last summer to protect the Amazon.

DiCaprio released a a formal statement on Instagram on Saturday. “At this time of crisis for the Amazon, I support the people of Brazil working to save their natural and cultural heritage. They are an amazing, moving and humbling example of the commitment and passion needed to save the environment. The future of these irreplaceable ecosystems is at stake and I am proud to stand with the groups protecting them. While worthy of support, we did not fund the organizations targeted. 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



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