‘Remain Committed’ To Saving Amazon, DiCaprio Responds to Brazil President

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio said in a statement on Saturday that he is proud to stand with organizations protecting the Amazon rainforest.

Brazil President Blames DiCaprio For Fires

The Oscar-winning actor’s statement came a day after Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro accused non-governmental organizations of deliberately setting fire to the Amazon forest to take photos to ask for funds from people like DiCaprio.

“The NGO people, what did they do? What’s easier? Set fire to the bush,” Bolsonaro said in a Facebook live stream event as translated by CNN.

“Take photo, film, send it to an NGO, the NGO spreads it out, does a campaign against Brazil, gets in touch with Leonardo DiCaprio and Leonardo DiCaprio donates $500,000 to this NGO.”

“Leonardo DiCaprio, you are assisting with the burning of the Amazon, that can’t be,” Bolsonaro said, according to CNN.

Bolsonaro made similar allegations against the non-governmental organizations in August, Reuters reported at the time.

NGOs Targeted

Earlier last week, the police in Brazil arrested volunteers from the Alter do Chão Brigade, an NGO working to combat the fires in the Amazon rainforest, as reported by the BBC. 

The authorities claimed that the volunteers were involved in starting the fires that engulfed the forest in September — a claim that is highly contested by both local and international environmentalists and human rights organizations, BBC said.

DiCaprio Stands With The NGOs

DiCaprio said that he didn’t fund the “organizations targeted” by the Brazilian authorities, but he is “proud to stand with the groups protecting the [Amazon rainforest.]”
“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,” DiCaprio said in a statement on his Instagram page.

Photo Credit: Siebbi via Wikimedia

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