Brazilian Justice Minister Anderson Torres said Wednesday that found “human remains” in the place where they were looking for the British journalisteither Dom Phillips and expert Bruno Pereiradisappeared more than ten days ago in the Amazon.
(In context: Brazil: they confess murder of the two disappeared in the Amazon)
“The Federal Police has just informed me that human remains were found in the place where excavations were being carried out,” Torres posted on Twitter, shortly before a press conference announced by the Federal Police to update the progress of the case.
(See also: The questions of the search for the disappeared in the Amazon)
The announcement comes after several local media reported that the two suspects detained in the case they told the police that Phillips and Pereira were murdered and confessed their participation in the crime.
The authorities have not confirmed this information so far. This Wednesday, one of them was taken by boat by the police to the place of the searches from the city of Atalaia do Norte, where he was detained, according to local TV images.
President Jair Bolsonaro had said this week that “human viscera were found floating in the river,” although that information was not confirmed by the Federal Police.
According to the police, the suspects are Oseney da Costa de Oliveira, known as “Dos Santos”, arrested on Tuesday, and Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira, a fisherman nicknamed “Pelado”, who was arrested last week.
newspaper contributor GuardianPhillips, 57, was preparing a book on the preservation of the environment in the Amazon during that expedition.
Pereira, an expert from the Brazilian government agency for indigenous affairs (Funai), was guiding Phillips in this dangerous and difficult-to-access region of the Javarí Valley, a strategic area for drug traffickers in which miners, fishermen and and illegal logger.
Both were seen for the last time on Sunday, June 5, while they were navigating the Itaquaí River.
After an intense search, the authorities had found a trace of blood on a boat belonging to the first detainee and “apparently human” material that was already being analyzed in Brasilia.
They also found personal belongings such as clothing and shoes. Bolsonaro described the incursion of Phillips and Pereira as an “adventure not recommended” and this Wednesday said that the reporter was “frowned upon” in the Amazon region for his informative work on illegal activities such as mining.
“That Englishman was frowned upon in the region, because he did many reports against illegal miners, [sobre] the environmental issue,” the far-right president declared in an interview.
The disappearance of Phillips and Pereira sparked a wave of international solidarity and once again inflamed criticism against the Bolsonaro government, accused of encouraging invasions of indigenous lands and sacrificing the preservation of the Amazon for economic exploitation.
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