After eight days of searching, the hopes of finding the still alive seem to have vanished British journalist Dom Philips and Brazilian anthropologist Bruno Araújo Pereiradisappeared in the Amazon after receiving threats for their research on an indigenous community harassed by predators of precious minerals, illegal loggers and poachers: “Human remains were found floating on the river,” Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro revealed today. , specifying that, to be sure of their identity, the bodies “will now be subjected to the DNA test”.
“There are clues that they lead us to believe that they have done him some evil“, added the right-wing leader, stressing that he was personally accompanying the searches. That there was little chance it was understood hours earlier, when the federal police had announced the discovery of personal objects belonging to the journalist – a collaborator of the Guardian – and to the former official of the National Indian Foundation (Funai).
Then the news leaked to the press by Alessandra Sampaio, Phillips’ wife, and not yet confirmed by the authorities, who explained that they wanted to wait for the result of the survey on the corpses. Sampaio added that her husband’s relatives were informed of her death in London by British authorities.
Asked by CBN radio, the British embassy in Brazil, however, did not confirm the death of the journalist.
Among the main suspects of the alleged double crime is Amarildo Costa de Oliveira, said ‘Pelado’, in prison since last Friday: witnesses claim to have seen him following the boat with which, on June 5, the disappeared were going to Atalia do Norte, in the indigenous reserve of Vale do Javari. The region, located in the western Amazon, is located on the border with Peru and Colombia, and it is not excluded that the two stumbled upon one of the routes used by drug traffickers.
Philips – 57, a veteran of environmental journalism – he was working on a book with the support of Pereira, a profound connoisseur of the tribes lost in the rainforest. Indigenous association Univaja – which first reported the disappearance – reported that the two had set out last week by boat to an area known as Lago do Jaburu, in the Javari region, a vast expanse of inhabited jungle. from over 20 ethnic groups. Last Sunday they should have returned, again by boat, to Atalaia do Norte, where they never arrived.
The case took great international repercussion and many NGOs, including Greenpeace, have pointed the finger at the Bolsonaro government, considering him “complicit” in what happened for his environmental policy of incentives to agri-food (which among other things would have favored deforestation) in violation of the human rights of the natives. While even the UN has stigmatized the slowness of the work done by the military and police.
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