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Brazil’s president blames DiCaprio over Amazon fires

A scorched area of the Amazon rainforest is seen in the Biological Reserve Serra do Cachimbo, at the border with the Menkragnoti indigenous reserve of the Kayapo indigenous group in Altamira, Para state, Brazil, Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said Wednesday that Latin America's Amazon countries will meet in September to discuss both protecting and developing the rainforest region, which has been hit by weeks of devastating fires.(AP Photo/Leo Correa)

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro is blaming actor Leonardo DiCaprio for making donations to non-profit organizations that he claims are behind some of the fires in the Amazon rainforest.

Bolsonaro told supporters Friday: “DiCaprio is a cool guy, isn’t he? Giving money to set the Amazon on fire.”

DiCaprio’s environmental organization has pledged $5 million to help protect the Amazon after fires destroyed large parts of the rainforest in July and August.

Boslonaro’s comments follow a police raid at the headquarters of two non-profit groups 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 primary suspects.

The Associated Press