Brazilian President calls out Leonardo DiCaprio for spreading misinformation

“There are people who want to arrest Brazilian citizens who make this kind of mistake here in our country"

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has called out Leonardo DiCaprio for alledgedly posting a much older photo when talking about forest fires that ravaged the Amazon rainforest in 2019.

The online clash happened after DiCaprio posted a message encouraging Brazilian people to register to vote ahead of elections in October.

“Brazil is home to the Amazon and other ecosystems critical to climate change. What happens there matters to us all and youth voting is key in driving change for a healthy planet,” he wrote.

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It comes as environmentalists have accused Bolsonaro of allowing deforestation in Brazil to accelerate, with the President significantly weakening legal protections for the Amazon rainforest since he took office in 2019. Shortly after Bolsonaro took office in 2019, he claimed it was a “misconception” that the Amazon rainforest was seen as the lungs of the Earth.

Bolsonaro replied to DiCaprio, writing “thanks for your support, Leo! It’s really important to have every Brazilian voting in the coming elections. Our people will decide if they want to keep our sovereignty on the Amazon or to be ruled by crooks who serve foreign special interest. Good job in The Revenant!”

He then called out DiCaprio for apparently sharing misinformation on Instagram. “By the way, the picture you posted to talk about the wildfires in the Amazon in 2019 is from 2003.”

In 2020, the Brazilian senate passed the controversial “fake news” bill, which aims to crack down on misinformation shared online. “There are people who want to arrest Brazilian citizens who make this kind of mistake here in our country,” continued Bolsonaro. “But I’m against this tyrannical idea. So I forgive you. Hugs from Brazil.” However the photo in question can’t be seen on DiCaprio’s Instagram page.

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Back in 2019 Bolsonaro claimed that DiCaprio had funded fires being set in the Amazon rainforest but didn’t provide any proof.

 

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