Police confirm that one of those killed in the Amazon is British journalist Dom Phillips | International


Reporter Dom Phillips interviews two neighbors in a village in the Brazilian state of Roraima, in November 2019.JOAO LAET (AFP)

It is confirmed that British journalist Dom Phillips, 57, was killed in the Brazilian Amazon while gathering information for a book he was writing. The Brazilian police reported this Friday that dental analyzes have led to the conclusion that one of the bodies found in a ditch is that of the collaborator of the newspaper Guardian, who lived in Brazil 15 years ago. Authorities are trying to identify Bruno Pereira, the Brazilian indigenista with whom he disappeared when they were sailing down a river in the Yavarí Valley.

The confession of a furtive fisherman who threatened the duo the day before his trail was lost was essential to locate this Wednesday, after 11 days of searches, two bodies buried in the jungle.

The US State Department has referred to the case through a spokesman: “We ask for accountability and justice and, collectively, we have to strengthen efforts to protect the defenders of the tropical forest and journalists.”

The Federal Police will continue to analyze the mortal remains, he explained, to find out the cause of death and the circumstances in which their remains were hidden. The bodies were found three kilometers from the riverbed in the jungle. The fisherman Amarildo da Costa Oliveira, alias Bare, confessed to investigators that he shot them dead. This and his brother Oseney are the only ones arrested for the case.

The reporter, who collaborated with The New York Times and other Anglo-Saxon media, and the indigenista disappeared on the front line of a war, a place where hunters and poachers, illegal loggers and miners converge, and through which international drug trafficking routes pass. . Pereira was the target of threats years ago by those who illegally profit from the riches of the largest tropical forest in the world.

But this Friday, two days after locating the bodies, the police have issued a note in which they affirm that the investigations indicate that “the executors acted alone, without there being an intellectual author or any criminal organization behind the crime.”

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The Univaja association (União dos Povos do Vale do Javari), with which the indigenous Pereira collaborated, has responded with a note in which they say that these investigators’ conclusions ignore the reports presented by them in recent months, both to the Police as well as the Public Ministry and the National Indian Foundation (Funai), in charge of protecting the natives Univaja explains that the information that the indigenous patrolmen have collected on the ground indicates that there is a criminal gang to which the detainees belong and that they constant invasions of the Yavarí indigenous reserve. He details the association that brings together all the ethnic groups of the valley: “We gave the names of the invaders, members of the criminal gang, their methods of action, how they enter and how they leave, the catches they take and the types of boats they use” . And they call on the police to deepen the investigations.

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