The fires raging in Brazil's Amazon rainforest have fueled global fears of environmental devastation, the climate crisis and the impact of state policies that favor the exploitation of resources in protected areas.
"Hell in the Jungle", said the Thursday headline of one of Brazil's main newspapers on the crisis in the Amazon, a vast territory shared by Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela.
World leaders, governments and celebrities joined the global appeal for the protection of the rainforest that is going up in flames and for which Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has insinuated that non-governmental organizations are to blame.
"In the midst of the global climate crisis, we cannot afford more damage to a major source of oxygen and biodiversity. The Amazon must be protected," United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres warned in a post on Twitter.
French President Emmanuel Macron called the fires "an international crisis" and said the matter will be discussed with urgency over the weekend during the G7 summit in Biarritz, France.
In response to Macron's tweet, Bolsonaro lamented that the French president "seeks to instrumentalize an internal issue of Brazil and other Amazonian countries for personal political gains."
Colombia has proposed that Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru undertake a joint project of prevention in the face of the environmental catastrophe, while the government of Chile has confirmed its offer of assistance to Brazil to fight the fires.
Argentinian President Mauricio Macri said on Twitter “the devastating fires in the main oxygen reserve in the region hurt us, worry us and make it urgent to offer our cooperation,” and offered the country's help.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's government expressed its "deep concern" and offered its "modest help" in mitigating the "painful tragedy immediately."
Costa Rica's foreign ministry also expressed its "deep concern for the devastating" fires.
Meanwhile, the Catholic bishops taking part in the Latin American Episcopal Council (CELAM) meeting asked the governments of Brazil and Bolivia, as well as the international community "to take serious measures to save the lungs of the world."
"What happens to the Amazon is not just a local issue but of global reach. If the Amazon suffers, the world suffers," the bishops said in a statement.
Members of the International Youth Climate Movement will gather outside Brazilian embassies around the world on Friday demanding action.
"We urge local governments, organized civil society and youth, in general, to cooperate together to stop this ecocide. If we don't act now, no one else will," the youth organization said on Twitter.
#PrayforAmazonia trended on Twitter as thousands took to social media to draw attention to the catastrophe.
Celebrities also took to the microblogging site and Instagram to express concern over the rainforest fires.
Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio posted a picture of the raging fire with the caption, "Terrifying to think that the Amazon is the largest rain forest on the planet (...) has been on fire and burning for the last 16 days running, with literally NO media coverage whatsoever! Why?"
"When Notre Dame was burning, the world's media covered every moment of it and billionaires rushed to restore it. Right now the Amazon is burning, the lungs of our planet. It has been burning for three weeks now. No media coverage. No billionaires," Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin said in a post on his Instagram account.
This is one of the worst fires in recent years in the Amazon, which accounts for 25 percent of the continent's surface area and is the largest tropical forest in the world. EFE-EPA