Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro blames Leonardo DiCaprio over Amazon fires
RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro is blaming actor Leonardo DiCaprio for making donations to nonprofit organizations that he claims are behind some of the fires in the Amazon rainforest.
Bolsonaro told supporters Friday: “DiCaprio is a cool guy, isn’t he? Giving money to set the Amazon on fire.”
DiCaprio’s environmental organization has pledged $5 million to help protect the Amazon after fires destroyed large parts of the rainforest in July and August. His environmental foundation, Earth Alliance, was created with philanthropists Laurene Powell Jobs and Brian Sheth.
Boslonaro’s comments follow a police raid at the headquarters of two nonprofit groups in the Amazonian state of Para.
Several volunteer firefighters, who deny wrongdoing, were arrested and later released. Local police say they are being investigated for allegedly igniting fires to obtain funding through nonprofits.
Federal prosecutors say their investigation points to local land-grabbers as primary suspects.