3 charged with murder of British journalist and indigenous expert in Brazil

Public prosecutors have charged three persons June’s murder British journalist Dom Phillips and indigenous expert Bruno Pereira in the far western reaches of Brazil’s Amazon rainforest, according to a statement.

The statement said the locals were all residents of the river, and that their motive was that Pereira asked Phillips to photograph them as they passed by the boat. The area is a hotspot of illegal fishing and poaching.

Philips and Pereira met the indigenous people near the entrance to the indigenous region of the Javari Valley, which borders Peru and Colombia, and when they were attacked, they moved along the Itacai River back to the city of Atalia do Norte. were traveling to. Their disappearance generated intense international outrage and pressure for action, and, with the help of local indigenous people, authorities hid their bodies in the woods.

Brazil Amazon
A federal police officer, guarded as a suspect, is taken to the area where indigenous expert Bruno Pereira and independent British journalist Dom Phillips disappeared, Atalia do Norte, Amazonas State, Brazil, Wednesday, June 15, 2022 .

Edmar Barros / AP

Prosecutors presented their charges on Thursday, revealing that the two men – Amarildo da Costa Oliveira and Jefferson da Silva Lima – have confessed the crimeWhereas witness testimony indicates that Oceni da Costa de Oliveira also participated according to the statement.

Perera had previous confrontations with fishermen when his catch was confiscated and he received several threats. He had carried a gun with him, and left it to the federal Indigenous Affairs Agency to teach local indigenous people how to patrol their land and collect geo-tagged photographic evidence of criminality.

On the day he was assassinated, Pereira was carrying such evidence to officers in Atalia do Norte, and was shot three times. The prosecutors’ statement said that Phillips, who was doing research for the book “How to Save the Amazon”, was executed because “only to be with Bruno, to ensure punishment for the prior offense”. “.

There has been speculation in the Brazilian press that his murder may have been ordered by the leader of an illegal fishing network. Police arrested a fourth man earlier this month after he presented false documents, believing he may have had some involvement, but no charges have been filed yet.

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