The suspects confess to killing a British journalist and a Brazilian guide

ATALAIA DO NORTE, Brazil, June 15 (Reuters) – Two suspects have confessed to killing and dismembering British journalist Dom Phillips and indigenous expert Bruno Pereira, TV Globo reported on Wednesday, citing police sources, after the men disappeared during more than a week in the Amazon rainforest of Brazil.

Federal police said in a previous statement that they were still looking for Phillips and Pereira in what they called a murder investigation after arresting the suspects. Band News also reported that at least one of the suspects had confessed.

Reuters witnesses saw police carrying a hooded man and called a suspect into the river where the couple had disappeared. Police did not comment on the alleged confession.

Register now for FREE and unlimited access to

Sign up

President Jair Bolsonaro said Wednesday afternoon that he hoped the case would be resolved “in the next few hours.”

Police identified the suspects as fisherman Amarildo da Costa, known as “Pelado”, who was arrested last week on gun charges, and his brother Oseney da Costa, 41, or “Dos Santos”. who was arrested Tuesday night. Read more

The family of the suspects has denied having played a role in the disappearance of the men. The public advocates representing the brothers could not be contacted immediately for comment.

Reports suggest a sad conclusion to a case that has raised global alarm, which has flown over Bolsonaro at a regional summit, and which has raised concerns in the British Parliament on Wednesday.

Phillips, a freelance journalist who has written for the Guardian and the Washington Post, was investigating a book about the trip with Pereira, a former chief of isolated and recently contacted tribes at the federal Indigenous affairs agency Funai.

They were in a remote area of ​​the jungle near the border with Colombia and Peru called the Javari Valley, which is home to the largest number of uncontacted indigenous people in the world. The area has been invaded by fishermen, hunters, loggers and illegal miners, and police call it a key route for drug trafficking.

The brothers were seen gathering in the Itacoai River just moments after Phillips and Pereira passed away on June 5, returning to the riparian city of Atalaia do Norte, a federal police witness said in a report seen by Reuters.

The police report said witnesses heard Pereira say he had received threats from Amarildo da Costa. A former official of the government agency of indigenous affairs Funai, Pereira had been instrumental in stopping the illegal gold mining and fishing of poachers in rivers inhabited by indigenous Javari tribes.

The news of the men’s disappearance resonated worldwide, with human rights organizations, environmentalists and freedom of the press urging Bolsonaro to step up research.

Bolsonaro, who once faced a harsh interrogation of Phillips at a news conference on the weakening of environmental law enforcement, said last week that the two men “were on an adventure that is not recommended.” . Read more

On Wednesday, Bolsonaro suggested that Phillips had become enemies by writing about environmental issues.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told parliament on Wednesday that he was deeply concerned about Phillips’ disappearance and said his government was working with Brazilian authorities to investigate the case. Read more

“What we have told the Brazilians is that we are ready to offer all the support they may need,” he said.

Register now for FREE and unlimited access to

Sign up

Report by Jake Spring and Bruno Kelly Additional report by Peter Frontini and Steven Grattan in São Paulo and Pedro Fonseca in Rio de Janeiro Written by Anthony Boadle Editing by Brad Haynes and Diane Craft

Our standards: Thomson Reuters’ principles of trust.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *