The Brazilian President has racked up fresh controversy after he made a statement in which he accused Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio of funneling money for allegedly setting the Amazon rainforests on fire.
Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, in a statement, to his supporters said that the "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood" actor Leonardo DiCaprio was funding nonprofit organizations that have been accused of starting the fires in the Amazon rainforest.
"DiCaprio is a cool guy, isn't he? Giving money to set the Amazon on fire," Bolsonaro told supporters on Friday reported the Associated Press.
Moved by the tragic fires, DiCaprio's environmental organization Earth Alliance has pledged $5 million to help protect the Amazon rainforest.
The comments from the Brazilian President Bolsonaro came days after a series of raids carried out on some prominent nonprofit groups.
Earlier this week, heavily armed security personnel raided the offices of an award-winning Brazilian NGO - Health and Happiness Project, also as known as PSA in Para, The Guardian had reported. The police also arrested four volunteer firefighters, who the government claimed allegedly was behind the intentional fires started in the Amazon rainforests.
The raids were carried out three months after President Bolsonaro accused the NGOs in the country for their role in the forest fires. A video, which was uploaded by the volunteer firefighters, is also being used as evidence by the police. The clipping, however, doesn't show anyone lighting the fire.
The number of forest fires this year in Brazil had seen an 85 percent increase compared to last year, with over 80,000 fires been detected the rainforests. While the Brazilian government has been blaming the NGOs, there have been reports that real estate developers supported by the state government were behind the intentional burning.