Veteran British journalist as well as an expert in Brazilian expert in indigenous affairs are missing from the remote region of Brazil’s Javari Valley, in the west-central region of Amazonas state.
Journalist Dom Phillips and Bruno Araujo Pereira who is a staff member who is on leave with the Brazilian Indigenous National Foundation (FUNAI) were missing for more than 30 minutes according to the Coordination of the Indigenous Organization.
The group, dubbed UNIVAJA stated that satellite images indicated the pair’s most recent address within São Rafael. Sao Rafael community early on Sunday morning. They were scheduled to meet with an official from the community who did not show at the meeting.
Following that, the missing couple had planned to travel for two hours from Atalaia Do Norte however, they did not show up accordingly to the group that on Sunday sent two search teams in order to look for the pair.
In the Javari Valley, there are thousands of indigenous people as well as around 16 groups that are not contacted, in the Javari Valley is a patchwork of forest and rivers which make access difficult.
The hunt for Phillips and Pereira is still ongoing. Brazil’s federal prosecutor’s office and federal police are looking into the disappearances. According to Eliesio Marubo who is a legal representative from UNIVAJA the Navy and the state military police are also involved in the hunt.
Amazonas the state’s governor Wilson Lima has ordered the deployment of police reinforcements with specialization to enhance the search and rescue operation.
Death threats have been reported. In a press release issued on the morning of Monday UNIVAJA declared it was reported that Phillips and Pereira were threatened with death before their abduction.
“We insist that during the week leading up to the disappearance, as per the reports of UNIVAJA employees the team received threats from the field. This threat wasn’t one of the initial ones,” the release said.
The area is currently under government protection, however, persistent incursions by land grabbers and illegal miners, as well as illegal fishermen, and illegal hunters have resulted in bloody conflicts.
In September of 2019 another indigenous affairs activist Maxciel Pereira two saints was murdered in the same location According to Brazil’s Public Prosecutor’s Office.
In the statement, a group representing workers from Brazil’s agency for indigenous protection FUNAI has cited evidence suggesting dos Santos’ murder was as a retaliation against his efforts at fight illegal commercial extraction in the Javari Valley, Reuters reported at the time.
FUNAI the government-run security agency that protects indigenous communities has told CNN that it was following the investigation, but pointed out the fact that Pereira was not in the area of duty at the time he disappeared.
Phillips has been a contributor for a long time of UK paper The Guardian, and the editor of the global environment section Johnathan Watts has called for Brazilian authorities to swiftly take action.
“Dom Phillips, an outstanding journalist, frequent contributor to the Guardian and a great friend, has been missing since the Javari Valley of Amazon after threats of death to his indigenous partner, Bruno Pereira, who is also missing. The journalist is urging Brazilian authorities to immediately launch a search,” Watts tweeted Monday.
“The Guardian is very concerned and urgently searching for information on Mr. Phillips location and his condition. We’re in touch with the British Embassy in Brazil and with local and national authorities in order to determine the truth as soon as we can,” the publication said in an article on Phillips Monday. The British Council is in contact with Brazilian authorities since Phillips is a British citizen. “We remain in communication with the local authorities in Brazil following the announcement of a British citizen’s disappearance in Brazil’s Amazon region. We’re offering consular support for his family of him, ”Diego Lobo with the British Council told CNN.
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) Monday, the group tweeted “CPJ is extremely worried about the reports of reporter Dom Phillips went missing while on a trip to report within Brazil’s Amazon.” BrazilianAmazon. We ask Brazilian authorities to speed the search efforts for Phillips.”
The Association of Foreign Press Correspondents in Brazil as well as the Association of Foreign Correspondents of Sao Paulo meanwhile called for “immediate actions” of Brazilian authorities.
“We also insist to see the Brazilian government take action to ensure the security of journalists, Brazilians and foreigners who work in the region and are facing numerous dangers to work within the area of conflict over mining that is not legal,” they said in an announcement.
The wife of a British journalist who went missing from a remote area in the Brazilian Amazon famous for its illicit mines and trafficking in drugs has asked authorities to increase their efforts to find her.
Dom Phillips, a longtime Guardian contributor, was missing on Sunday, while traveling via boat through the Javari region of Amazonas state, where he was covering the book he’s writing about conservation.
Brazilian Alessandra Sampaio alessandra Sampaio, who lives alongside her husband, in the city of the north-eastern region of Salvador In a statement, she said: “Brazilian authorities, our families are devastated. We need you to respond to the urgentness of the moment by taking urgent action.
“As I am launching this appeal they’ve been missing for over 30 days … And in the forest, every second is important, and every second could mean what makes the difference between living or the end of life,” Sampaio added.
“All I have to do is pray Dom as well as Bruno Araujo Pereira are both well somewhere, and are unable to continue their journey due to a mechanical issue, and the whole thing will be an incident in the life-long lives they lead.”
Phillips who was 57, was on a trip along with Bruno Araujo Pereira, a famous Indigenous Expert who’s dedicated his life to protect nearly two dozen indigenous tribes that are residents of the rainforests.
After a second day of searching ended with no sign of the two men Sian Phillips, the journalist’s sister Sian Phillips, made an audio statement released the night before: “We knew it was an area of danger, but Dom believed that it was possible to protect nature and livelihoods for Indigenous people. Indigenous people.
“We are very concerned about him. We urge officials from Brazil to do everything they can to find for the possible routes he was taking. If anyone can help ramp up resources to aid in the investigation, it is great since the time factor is vital.
“We are so proud of our brother and would like to see him as well as his Brazilian guide to be found… each minute is important,” she added.
Security forces as well as representatives of the indigenous agency Funai have been reported to have spent the entire day on Monday looking for the suspects along a stretch of river close to the city of Atalaia do Norte, the main point of entry for in the Javari region .
A search team from the navy was scheduled to arrive later in the evening, amid a public outcry that was growing.
The two men missing were due to reach Atalaia do Norte early on Sunday After entering the reserve via river earlier in the week, but they never made it to the destination.
Phillips and Pereira traveled to the region of the Funai monitoring station, and then reached Jaburu lake on Friday night The Union of Indigenous Organizations of the Javari Valley and the observatory for the Human Rights of Isolated and Recently Contacted Indigenous Peoples declared.
The group began their journey back early on Sunday, making a stop in the town of Sao Rafael, where Pereira was scheduled to meet with a local chief to discuss Indigenous patrols that will fight “intense incursions” which have taken place on their land according to the group.
If the leader of the community did not show up, the men determined to travel to Atalaia Do Norte. It’s about two hours away the men said.
They last saw them after the village in Sao Gabriel, just downstream from Sao Rafael.
The group was traveling on an all-new boat that had 70 liters of gasoline “sufficient to cover the journey” and using satellite-based communications according to the group’s statement.