Brazilian police are investigating five suspects in the murders of British journalist Dom Phillips and national expert Bruno Pereira.
They are thought to have been last seen alive on June 5 in the Sao Rafael district. Police said a suspect confessed to shooting the men and leading them to the bodies.
Investigators had arrested brothers Oseney and Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira, who on Wednesday confessed to killing the couple with a firearm and covering their remains.
But detectives are likely to question three other people, at least one of whom is suspected of involvement in the killings.
The other two are suspected of helping hide the bodies and ordering the hit, according to federal police, who are speaking on condition of anonymity.
Police were called by main suspect Amarildo deep into a remote part of the Amazon near the Peruvian border and showed the human remains.
Authorities say the fisherman threatened Pereira with documenting illegal fishing in the remote Javari Valley.
While formal identification has yet to take place, investigators have little doubt that the bodies belong to 57-year-olds Phillips and Bruno Pereira, 41.
Mr. Phillips, a freelance reporter who had written for the Guardian and the Washington Post, was researching a book about the trip with Mr. Pereira, a former head of isolation and recently contacted tribes at the Federal Agency for Indigenous Peoples the Funai case.
They were in a remote jungle area near the border with Colombia and Peru called the Javari Valley, which is home to the world’s largest number of uncontacted indigenous people.
The region has been invaded by illegal fishermen, hunters, lumberjacks and miners, and police call it a major route for drug trafficking.
Indigenous groups, environmentalists, fellow reporters and family and friends have paid tribute to father of three Mr Philips and Mr Pereira, who is also leaving behind three children.
Through his reporting, veteran journalist Mr. Phillips became an international voice for the threats facing the world’s largest rainforest.
Mr Pereira, a 41-year-old lawyer of indigenous peoples and former official of the Funai government bureau, traveled with Mr Phillips while researching for his book.
“Now we can bring them home and say goodbye with love,” said Mr Phillips’ wife, Alessandra Sampaio.
The indigenous association of Javari Valley Univaja, which inadequately sought out the men, said her murder was a ‘political crime’ and called on the government to better protect their country.
Indigenous areas have become increasingly vulnerable to invasions, impacted by cuts to bureaucracy and personnel under extremist President Jair Bolsonaro.
Survival International said Mr Phillips and Mr Pereira were the latest victims of a war waged by Bolsonaro and his allies in the Brazilian farming sector who see protected indigenous lands.
“The government’s genocide efforts to open up land to invaders, and to punish criminals with impunity, have caused skyrocketing levels of both forest destruction and horrific violence against those who try to stop it,” the director’s advisory director said. organization Fiona Watson.
Bolsonaro tweeted condolences to the men’s families, without giving their names.
He added a statement from Funai praising Mr Pereira as one of Brazil’s top experts in protecting isolated and recently contacted indigenous tribes.
Bolsonaro said earlier that the two were on ‘an adventure that was not recommended’ and that through his stories ‘this Englishman was not nice’ in the area.
Mr. Phillips, born in Bebington, near Liverpool, was an admired reporter in Brazil and a regular contributor to The Guardian.
He also wrote for The Washington Post, The New York Times and other publications during his 30-year career in journalism.
Mr Phillips is survived by his wife Sampaio and younger siblings Sian and Gareth Phillips.
His early journalism focused on dance music, and covered the rise of rave culture in Britain in the 1990s at the cult music magazine Mixmag, of which he became editor in 1993.
In 1992, Mr Phillips coined the term ‘progressive house’ in a seminal piece for the magazine.
In 2007, he moved to Brazil to write a book on the commercialization of dance music and to begin a new career as a foreign correspondent.
He covered a variety of topics from oil auctions to World Cup protests, but focused more and more on the Amazon and the threats facing the rainforest.
At a press conference in Brasilia in 2019, weeks before fires consumed pieces of rainforest, Mr Phillips Bolsonaro asked about his commitment to protecting the region in a clip that has gone viral in recent days.
“You have to understand that the Amazon is from Brazil, not yours,” the president said back.
In a letter last week, journalists and friends described Mr Phillips as ‘one of the sharpest and most caring foreign journalists in South America’.
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Five suspects arrested for murders of Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira in Brazil
Source link Five suspects arrested for murders of Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira in Brazil