Concern rises for British journalist and indigenous Brazilian disappearing in the Amazon


Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said, “It may have been an accident, he may have been killed.”

British journalist
Missing British journalist Dom Phillips.Daniil MarenkoEFE
  • Brazil An English journalist and a Brazilian native go missing in a remote region of the Amazon

According to the president, concerns grew this Tuesday over the fate of a British journalist and indigenous affairs expert who disappeared in the Amazon jungle two days ago. Jair Bolsonaro, An “adventure not recommended”.

The Federal Police (PF), Army and Navy deployed this Tuesday’s operation to find Bishop Phillips, from age 57 and contributor to the British newspaper Guardian, disappeared with the expert Bruno Pereira, 41, While researching for a book in the Javari Valley in the state of Amazonas (North).

It is an indigenous land that is difficult to access, close to the border with Peru and Colombia, and is affected by the presence of illegal miners and loggers who try to take advantage of it to invade the land.

Three groups in the region protecting indigenous rights assured in a joint note that only six state police officers were functioning, asking the government for more resources.

In the afternoon, federal police reported that they strengthened searches with “another helicopter” with members of that force and military.

Bolsonaro criticized “adventure”

Bolsonaro rated “Adventure Not Recommendable” a la campaign.

“Two people in a boat, In such a field, completely wild, This is an adventure that is not recommended to be done. Anything can happen,” he said in an interview with SBT News.

“It may have been an accident, they may have been killed,” he said, adding that he hoped “they will be found soon”.

For WWF Brazil, the government was “too slow to act” in mobilizing its forces. “Amazon is becoming a chaotic land,” In a statement condemned the organization.

Phillips and Pereira had sailed to Lake Jaburu and were to return to the city of Atalia do Norte on Sunday morning.

He sought to interview the indigenous people, for which he arrived here Jaburu Lake andl Friday night.

They went back early on Sunday morning, stopping in the community of So Rafael, where they would meet with a local leader.

Since he did not arrive, the two men continued on to Atalia do Norte. He was last seen in Sao Gabriel, near Sao Rafael.

“I’m entering the woods tomorrow. In about 15 days or so, I’m in Atalia do Norte,” Pereira said in an unreleased audio released by O Globo on Tuesday.

Phillips and Pereira were traveling in a new boat with 70 liters of gasoline and using satellite communications equipment.

Police took statements of two people on Monday, apparently last to see them, Federal police confirmed to AFP.

Pereira, an expert at Brazil’s Government Agency for Indigenous Affairs (FUNAI), had previously been threatened by illegal loggers and miners.

desperate request

brazilian Alessandra Sampaio, A video released by TV Bahia asked the journalist’s wife to “intensify the search” amid tears.

journalist’s sister Sean Phillips, I told officials in a video on the social network “It is important to (…) time to do everything possible.”

Pereira’s family also stressed with anguish that “timing is important (…) especially if they are injured.”

In addition, some 40 correspondents and friends of Philips, who have also published in new York Times You Washington Post, He called for efforts to be expanded “immediately” in a letter to O Globo.

Eleven press organizations requested immediate audiences with the Ministers of Justice and Public Safety and Defense, and sought information on the progress of operations.

“I hope they will be found and return in peace,” the former president wrote on his network. Luiz Insio Lula da Silva Together photos with Phillips during an interview in 2017.

Live in this indigenous land where Phillips traveled with Pereira in 2018 6,300 people from 26 different groups, of which 19 were isolated, According to the NGO Socio-Environmental Institute.

Violence has increased in recent years.

The local Funai base, intended to protect and aid indigenous peoples, has suffered several attacks since 2018, including the killing of an employee in 2019.

For Fiona Watson, research director of the Survival International group, the rescue operation in this area of ​​dense tropical forest is “extremely challenging”.

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