Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has locked horns with Leonardo DiCaprio after the Hollywood star and environmentalist urged young people to vote in the country’s elections later this year.
It is not the first time the right-wing leader has clashed with the actor, who is a vocal campaigner against climate change and has posted frequently on social media about environmental issues, including the need to protect the Amazon.
DiCaprio has also donated millions of dollars towards conservation efforts.
Clearance of the world’s largest rainforest has risen under Mr Bolsonaro, a climate-change sceptic, hitting record levels in the months of January and February this year.
Brazil is due to go to the polls in October.
Encouraging youngsters on Twitter to register for a ballot ahead of the May deadline, DiCaprio, who boasts 19.6 million followers, said: “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. “
In a sarcastic response, Mr Bolsonaro, who has 7.8 million followers on the social media platform, wrote: “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.”
It was back in 2019, that, without providing any evidence, Bolsonaro claimed that DiCaprio had funded fires being set in the Amazon rainforest.
He was apparently commenting on unsubstantiated social media posts claiming the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) had paid for images taken by volunteer firefighters, which it then used to raise donations, including a contribution from DiCaprio.
The WWF denied receiving a donation from DiCaprio or obtaining photos from the firefighters.