Brazil: Journalist Phillips and expert Pereira killed by gunfire

A suspect in the murders turned up on Saturday morning, she also said, and the third has now been arrested in this case.

Mr. Phillips, 57, longtime newspaper employee The guardand Mr. 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 traveling by boat to Atalaia do Norte (northwest) in the Javari Valley, an area known to be dangerous and home to numerous illegal drug and fish trades, according to Panning.

On Friday, the Brazilian Federal Police (PF) said, based on an odontological examination (specifically dental) by a laboratory in Brasilia, that the first human remains discovered at the request of a suspect were those of Dom Phillips.

On Saturday she announced that investigators had also found the remains of Bruno Pereira.

Mr Pereira was hit by three gunshots, including one to the head, and Mr Phillips by a bullet to the chest, she added.

The suspect who turned himself in Saturday is Jeferson da Silva Lima, he says Pelado da Dinha. Based on the evidence and testimonies gathered, this is the fisherman was at the scene and took an active part in the double homicidesaid Police Commissioner Alex Perez Timóteo.

Dom Phillips’ remains were found Wednesday at the spot indicated by fisherman Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira, he says Peladowho had admitted the day before burying the bodies.

According to local media, police are looking for a fourth suspect, information that has not been officially confirmed.

The police indicated that the elements available to them at this stage of the investigation indicated that that the killers acted alone, without a sponsor, without a criminal organization behind the murders.

A version denied by the Aborigines

The Union of Indigenous Peoples of the Javari Valley (Univaja), whose members took an active part in the investigation, refuted the police version.

It’s not just two killers, it’s an organized group that planned the crime down to the last detail.said Univaja in a statement.

The Univaja claims to have sent the authorities a report explaining this Pelado was involved in illegal fishing activities.

This 41-year-old had also been accused of the crime 2018 and 2019 gun attacks on a Funai basethe Brazilian government agency for indigenous affairs, in the same city of Atalaia do Norte.

The Univaja evokes a powerful criminal organization that tried at all costs to cover their tracks during the investigation on the double murder and recalled that Bruno Pereira, who worked at Funai for a long time, had already been discussed death threats.

According to several experts, illegal fishing for endangered species in the Javari Valley is mostly under the power of drug traffickers who use the sale of fish to launder drug money.

We demand the continuation and deepening of the investigationthe Univaja insisted.

The Javari Valley, Brazil’s second largest indigenous reserve with 26 indigenous peoples, is a difficult-to-access region in the heart of the Amazon rainforest, on the triple border between Brazil, Peru and Colombia, over which the state has very little influence.

Many members of the security forces left the scene after the victims’ remains were discovered.

Tribal peoples who took part in the search now say they fear for their lives. We will continue to live here and the state will not give us any security.regretted to AFP Paulo Marubo, coordinator of Univaja, who said he had also received threats.

The double assassination of Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira has sparked outrage around the world, with fierce criticism of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who has been accused of encouraging deforestation and encouraging resource exploitation in the Amazon since he took office in 2019.

The United States on Friday demanded accountability for the killings of the two men. murdered because they worked to protect the rainforest and indigenous peoples.

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