Brazilian president holds Leonardo DiCaprio responsible for Amazon rainforest fires

Brazilian president holds Leonardo DiCaprio responsible for Amazon rainforest fires

Leonardo DiCaprio has been slammed by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro for donating to officials at non-profit organisations accused of igniting the Amazon rainforest fires.

Local police recently raided the headquarters of two charities in the state of Para, where a number of volunteer firefighters were briefly taken into custody as part of an investigation into the origins of the ongoing blazes, which have raged since the summer.

The firefighters have denied allegations suggesting they purposefully set the fires as part of a scheme to boost funding, but controversial leader Bolsonaro has seized on the claims, and insists celebrity conservationist DiCaprio, who pledged $5 million (£3.9 million) through his Earth Alliance foundation to help fight the wildfires, is partly responsible for the environmental disaster.

"DiCaprio is a cool guy, isn't he? Giving money to set the Amazon on fire," the conservative politician reportedly told supporters on Friday (29Nov19).

Despite the raids, federal prosecutors in Brazil do not share the President's views that non-profit chiefs are involved in the fires, and are instead focusing their investigation on local land-grabbers, reports The Associated Press.

DiCaprio has yet to comment on Bolsonaro's remarks.


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