In an Instagram post, the Once Upon a Time in Hollywood actor denied the claims made by the far-right politician.
“While worthy of support, we did not fund the organizations targeted,” he wrote in a post on his Instagram handle.
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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. 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.
Bolsonaro had accused DiCaprio of “collaborating with the fires in the Amazon” by donating $500,000 to a group who had started fires in the ecologically sensitive forest in order to attract donations.
Without providing any evidence, the Brazilian President said that DiCaprio had earmarked a part of the $500,000 “for the people who were setting fires”.
DiCaprio,who has also been an environmental activist, wrote that “the future of these irreplaceable ecosystems is at stake, and I am proud to stand with the groups protecting them”. He also stated that he will “support the people of Brazil working to save their natural and cultural heritage.”
The Alter do Chao volunteer fire brigade has been helping the firefighters since last year to combat forest fires, including the recent fire in the Alter do Chao region.
According to the local police, several members of this group have been involved in actually starting the fires in a bid to raise international funding; four of them have been arrested.
The Brazil subsidiary of World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has denied the allegations, saying it transferred only around 70,000 reals ($16,800) to the local group for fire fighting equipment.
The officials of Alter do Chao brigade have called Bolsonaro’s allegations unfounded. Several environmental activists have accused Bolsanaro of being involved in the fire for industrial profits.