01:13 GMT +308 December 2019
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    Leonardo DiCaprio in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

    Leonardo DiCaprio Responds to Bolsonaro’s Claims He Funded Amazon Fires

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    Leonardo DiCaprio has responded to the accusations made by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Friday that the Hollywood actor is behind some of the fires in the Amazon rainforest.

    DiCaprio released a statement via Instagram on Saturday that reads: “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,” the "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" star wrote in response to Bolsonaro’s claims.

    Bolsonaro told supporters Friday: “DiCaprio is a cool guy, isn’t he? Giving money to set the Amazon on fire,” referring to a police raid at the headquarters of two nonprofit groups the Brazilian president believes to be behind the fires 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 the primary suspects.

    The number of fires in Brazil this year hit a record number of any year since 2013 and is up by 85 percent from last year, according to several reports. The country's space research center has already detected more than 80,000 fires in 2019 so far.

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    Tags:
    forest fires, Brasilia, Jair Bolsonaro, Leonardo DiCaprio
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