Crime & Justice

Human remains found in search for men missing in Brazilian Amazon

Rio de Janeiro, Jun 15 (EFE).- Brazilian authorities have found human remains in the search for a British journalist and a Brazilian indigenous expert who disappeared 10 days ago in a remote region of the Amazon, police reported on Wednesday.

The first of two suspects arrested in connection with the disappearances confessed to fatally shooting Dom Phillips, 57, and Bruno Araújo Pereira, 41, and took police to the burial site, police officials said during a press conference in the Amazon city of Manaus.

After his confession, Amarildo da Costa Oliveira, known as “Pelado,” led investigators about 3 kilometers into the jungle in the Javari Valley, in the Brazilian Amazon near the border with Peru and Colombia, to where the remains were found, they said.

The remains are yet to be formally identified.

Federal police commissioner Guilherme Torres said that authorities are not ruling out the involvement of other people, and investigators will continue to collect evidence.

Pelado was arrested last week and was considered the main suspect. His brother Oseney da Costa de Oliveira, known as “Dos Santos,” was arrested on Tuesday.

Oseney denies involvement in the crime, federal police investigator Eduardo Alexandre Fontes said at the press conference.

Phillips and Pereira went missing on June 5 when they were traveling from the community of Sao Rafael to the city of Atalaia do Norte, where they should have arrived that Sunday morning.

They were traveling in a new boat, with 70 liters of gasoline, enough for the trip, and were last seen near the community of Sao Gabriel, a few kilometers from Sao Rafael.

Pereira, who was on leave from his work at the national indigenous agency Funai, worked in the region for years and knew it in depth. He had been the target of threats from illegal miners and fishermen, loggers and drug traffickers operating in the Javari Valley.

Phillips was a veteran journalist based in Brazil for 15 years and contributed to various international media outlets such as the Guardian, Financial Times, New York Times and the Washington Post. He was working on a book about the Javari Valley. EFE


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