A murder suspect went on Saturday morning, she also announced, the third now arrested in the case. Dom Phillips, 57, a longtime contributor to the newspaper The Guardianand Bruno Pereira, 41, a recognized expert on indigenous peoples, were in the Amazon as part of a book on environmental protection.
They were last seen on June 5 as they were taking a boat to Atalaia do Norte (northwest) in the Javari Valley, an area known to be dangerous for multiple drug trafficking, fishing or illegal gold mining. On Friday, the Brazilian Federal Police (PF) said that the first human remains discovered at the suggestion of a suspect were those of Dom Phillips, on the basis of a dental examination (dental, in particular, ed.) By a laboratory in Brasilia.
Also read: In Brazil, outrage after the murder of two missing people in the Amazon
On Saturday, she announced that the remains of Bruno Pereira had also been found by investigators. Bruno Pereira was hit by three shots, including one in the head, and Dom Phillips by a bullet to the chest, she added.
The suspect who went on Saturday is Jeferson da Silva Lima, known as “Pelado da Dinha.” According to all the evidence and evidence gathered, this fisherman “was at the scene of the crime and was actively involved in the double homicide,” said Police Commissioner Alex Perez Timóteo.
The remains of Dom Phillips were found on Wednesday at the location indicated by the fisherman Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira, known as “Pelado”, who had admitted the day before that he had buried the bodies.
Fourth suspect wanted
According to local media, police are looking for a fourth suspect, information that has not been officially confirmed.
Also read: Amazon: A suspect says he buried the bodies of the two missing
Police said the evidence at this stage of the investigation suggested that “the killers acted alone, without a sponsor, without a criminal organization behind the killings.”
The Union of Indigenous Peoples of the Javari Valley (Univaja), whose members were actively involved in the search, refuted the police version. “There are not just two killers, but an organized group that has planned the crime in great detail,” Univaja said in a statement.
Univaja claims to have sent a report to the authorities stating that “Pelado” was involved in illegal fishing. The 41-year-old man was also charged with “gun attacks in 2018 and 2019 against a base of the Funai”, the Brazilian government’s agency for indigenous affairs, in the same city. ‘North Watchtower.
Univaja cites “a powerful criminal organization that tried at all costs to erase its traces during the investigation” into the double murder, recalling that Bruno Pereira, who worked at Funai for a long time, had already done so. subject to “death threats.”
According to several experts, the illegal fishing of endangered species in the Javari Valley is most often under the control of drug traffickers who use the sale of fish to launder money from drugs. “We demand further investigation and investigation,” said Univaja.
The Javari Valley, Brazil’s second-largest indigenous reserve, home to 26 indigenous peoples, is a difficult region in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, on the triple border between Brazil, Peru and Colombia, where the state has very little control.
Fear of the natives
Many members of the security forces left the scene after the remains of the victims were discovered. And the natives who took part in the research now say they fear for their lives. “We will continue to live here, and the state will not provide any security,” Paulo Marubo, Univaja’s coordinator, told AFP, saying he had also received threats.
The double murder of Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira has sparked a wave of outrage around the world, with strong criticism of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro for deforesting and encouraging resource exploitation in the Amazon since his coming to power in 2019.
The United States on Friday called for responsibility to be established for the killings of the two men, “murdered for their support of the preservation of the rainforest and indigenous peoples.”
Also read: Complaint against Bolsonaro: a first step towards recognizing the ecocide?
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