Dom Philips, 57, a regular contributor to the British daily The Guardianand Bruno Pereira, a 41-year-old specialist in indigenous peoples, have disappeared in the Javari Valley region.
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The two men are untraceable since Sunday. As the investigation into the disappearance of a British journalist and a Brazilian expert continues in a remote part of the Amazon, “Blood has been found on Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira’s boat, 41, known as ‘Pelado’.”, the Brazilian federal police said in a statement on Thursday, June 9th. The latter, described as “suspect”was arrested on Tuesday for carrying drugs and ammunition of an unauthorized caliber.
Witnesses also said they saw him pass at full speed in a boat heading in the same direction as the two missing, when they were last seen. Dom Philips, 57, a regular contributor to the British daily The Guardianand 41-year-old Bruno Pereira, a recognized indigenous peoples specialist, disappeared in the Javari Valley region, where they were conducting interviews for a book on environmental conservation.
Very difficult to access, this valley near the Peruvian border is experiencing an escalation of armed violence due to the presence of miners, gold diggers, poachers and drug traffickers and where native patrols are fighting these “invasions” of landincreasingly frequent under the rule of far-right Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.
Asked about his disappearance on the sidelines of the Summit of the Americas in which he is attending in Los Angeles (USA), the Brazilian president implied that the two men had been reckless. “Usually we go to this area with an escort. They went on an adventure.”he said. “Pray to God that they will always be alive” but “With each passing day, the odds are slowing down.”
The disappearance sparked the mobilization of environmental and human rights activists and groups, and demonstrations were held in London and Brasilia on Thursday. The journalist’s family on Thursday called on British and Brazilian authorities to step up their efforts to locate the two men, which she has always “hope” to find.