The news we did not want to receive unfortunately came from Manaus, last night (while we were sleeping in Italy). The Chief of the Federal Police in the State of Amazonas, Edward Fontes, in fact, he informed that the bodies of the British journalist have been found Dom Phillips (57 years old) and the Brazilian indigenist Bruno Pereira41.
The two had been missing since Sunday 5 June in the Javarí Valley, a thousand kilometers west of the city of Manaus, on their way to Atalaia do Norte. As Naiara Galarraga Gortázar wrote a few days ago, correspondent in Brazil for The countrythe area is a gigantic indigenous territory that serves as a refuge for about thirty uncontacted tribes and is systematically invaded by poachers, poachers and mineral seekers. In addition, it is part of the international drug trafficking routes, bordering Brazil with Peru and Colombia. Phillips had gone there to research a book he was preparing while Pereira, an independent indigenist, collaborated with the Observatório dos Povos Isolados (OPI) after serving for many years in the official body created to protect Brazilian natives, the National Indian Foundation.
The suspects of death are two brothers, Oseney and Amarildo da Costa both fishermen. Over the past week, the investigations led to their arrest and one of the brothers, after confessing, led the police to the place where the bodies were buried.
Erika Guevara Rosasdirector for Amnesty International Americas, wrote a few hours ago on her social networks: “We receive with immense sadness the news of the deaths of Dom and Bruno, both wonderful beings of light. We join their families and communities, Beatriz and Alessandra, the journalists in Brazil and all the people who would have liked to see them smile again. Rest in power “
???????? It is with immense sadness that we receive the news of the death of Dom and Bruno, both wonderful beings of light. We join their families and communities, Beatriz and Alessandra, journalists in #Brazil and all the people who wanted to see them smile again.
Rest in power ???? https://t.co/tLRN0nrSda
— Erika Guevara Roses (@ErikaGuevaraR) June 16, 2022
On the other side Univaja (União dos Povos do Vale de Javari), which brings together all the ethnic groups of the valley, has issued a statement together with the Apib, which brings together the indigenous organizations of Brazil, and the Observatório dos Povos Indigenas (OPI) in which this murder is described ” come another political crime… Which leads to Bolsonaro and is a consequence of his government’s destructive policy ”.
Of the same opinion too Francesco Guerra, profound connoisseur of Brazil (recently returned to Italy), with a post doctorate in History at the Universidade Federal de Goiás (Goiânia) and creator of the latinoamericando.info blog, which has closely followed this story. In recent days, Guerra had helped to give context to what was happening in the area and his predictions on the fate of Dom and Bruno unfortunately proved to be certain:
“Executed, torn to pieces and burned. Thus Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira would have died in the Javari Valley, according to what has been leaked in the last few hours from sources of the Federal Police present in the Amazon. Killed because ‘guilty’ of having filmed two poachers at work in an indigenous land. Two fishermen hunting for the precious pirarucu, a gigantic Amazonian fish requested by the narcos operating in that region. A criminal ecosystem, the one present in the Amazon today, strongly desired by the current President Jair Bolsonaro, who, piece by piece, demolished environmental protection throughout Brazil, becoming the champion of illegal miners, traffickers of precious wood, fishermen of poaching and so on. Also for this reason, Bolsonaro’s fingerprints are imprinted on the death of Dom and Bruno “
And Jair Bolsonaro fresh from the Summit of the Americas where in his speech of 10 June he reiterated that everything possible was being done to find the journalist alive Guardian and the Brazilian indigenist. Despite this, however, there are many accusations that point the finger at the policies promoted by the current Brazilian president to inaugurate a new “conquest” of the Amazonian indigenous lands and also towards his obvious lack of empathy towards the fate of Dom and Bruno. Indeed, Bolsonaro himself had recently declared that the Anglo-Brazilian couple had embarked on an adventure disreputabletraveling in the Javari Valley where you live a real “Far West” promoted by its policies.
I join Erika Guevara’s condolences to family, friends, colleagues, to those who knew them directly and to those who have nourished themselves with their studies, research and books. We cannot and must not die like this.