Monday, July 4

Two bodies found in the Brazilian Amazon where a journalist and an activist disappeared

Two bodies were found this Monday in the Amazon region where British journalist Dom Phillips, 57, and Brazilian indigenist Bruno Pereira, 41, disappeared a week ago, the correspondent’s wife told a local media outlet. The Guardian newspaper points out that Brazilian diplomatic sources They have contacted the Phillips family to pass on the news.

“The evidence suggests that they did some evil against them because human viscera have already been found floating in the river, that they are in Brasilia to carry out a DNA test,” President Jair Bolsonaro told reporters on Monday. CBN Recife. “Because of the time that has passed, we are already eight days past the ninth, it will be very difficult to find them alive. I pray to God that this happens.”

The bodies, in an advanced state of decomposition, could be sent to Manaus and Brasilia to undergo a forensic examination to confirm the identification of the victims, although the Police have not yet confirmed the information.

Phillips, a contributor to The Guardian newspaper, and Pereira Araújo disappeared on Sunday, June 5, in the Valle do Javari, a remote and jungle region in the Brazilian Amazon near the borders with Peru and Colombia, where they were conducting an investigation into threats against indigenous people. .

On Friday, the Federal Police announced that they found what could be traces of human genetic material in the Itaquaí River region, the last place where both were seen. This Sunday, the fire department found a backpack with personal belongings in the search area for missing persons.

According to the committee, also made up of the Civil and Military Police, the Fire Department of the state of Amazonas, the regional Secretariat of Public Security, the Army and the Navy, in addition to the backpack – which would belong to Phillips and which also contained books and some clothing – a health card in the name of Araújo and other belongings of the indigenist.

The backpack, which is in the hands of the police, was tied to a tree in an area on the banks of the river, whose level has risen in recent days due to the rains, and in a place near the house of Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira, better known as “Pelado”. So far, “Pelado” is the only suspect in the disappearances and was arrested on Friday after authorities found traces of blood on one of his boats. His boat was spotted behind the one carrying the journalist and the indigenista.

After a week of searches and few results, non-governmental organizations and international organizations such as the UN Human Rights Office and the OAS Inter-American Commission on Human Rights have raised their voices to urge the Government of Jair Bolsonaro to “redouble” its efforts to find them.

The Valle do Javarí, the second largest indigenous reserve in Brazil, is known for being a scene of conflicts dominated by drug trafficking, timber theft and illegal mining. The trail of Phillips and Pereira Araújo, who had already reported threats against their lives due to their activism in the region, was lost on June 5 when they traveled from the community of Sao Rafael to the city of Atalaia do Norte, in the state of Amazonas, where they should have arrived that morning.

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