Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has accused Leonardo DiCaprio of financing deliberate fires in the Amazon rainforest – despite producing no evidence.
The populist nationalist reportedly told his supporters: “This Leonardo DiCaprio’s a cool guy, isn’t he? Giving money for the Amazon to be torched.”
Tens of thousands of fires – many of which are believed to have been deliberate – raged through the Amazon over the summer.
The four volunteer firefighters accused of being involved were arrested and subsequently released on Thursday following a public outcry.
The WWF’s Brazil office also dismissed the claims, saying: “WWF Brazil rejects the attacks on its partners and the lies involving its name, including a series of lie-based social media attacks such as the purchase of photographs linked to a donation from the actor Leonardo DiCaprio.”
Earlier this year, DiCaprio’s environmental organisation Earth Alliance pledged $5m (£3.9m) to help the rainforest.
Brazil’s president has often targeted environmental campaigners and NGOs who have spoken out about protecting the Amazon.