Between Friday and Saturday, the Brazilian authorities identified the remains of the British journalist Dom Phillips and the indigenous expert Bruno Pereira and confirmed that they were shot to death, “with typical hunting ammunition”, in the Brazilian Amazon, where a third suspect turned himself in to the police. policeman.
In a statement, the Federal Police stated this Saturday that the “remains of Bruno Pereira are part of the material” that is being analyzed. From the security force they explained that the crime of Phillips – whose remains were identified on Friday night – was caused by a shot to the chest and that Pereira was hit by three shots, one of them in the head.
These revelations cleared up some of the questions surrounding the deaths of Phillips, 57, and Pereira, 41. Both were last seen on June 5 when they were on their way by boat to the city of Atalaia do Norte, west from the state of Amazonas, as part of his research for a book on environmental conservation.
The remains of the two victims were in an area indicated by the first of the three suspects detained so far, the fisherman Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira, alias “Pelado”, who on Wednesday confessed to having buried the bodies in the jungle, near the aforementioned city.
The city is in the Javarí Valley, which is home to a huge indigenous reserve near the border with Peru and is famous for its dangerousness. Drug traffickers, fishermen and illegal miners operate there.
However, the Police said on Friday that their investigations indicate that the criminal gangs operating in the region are not related to the double murder. But contrary to this statement, the Union of Indigenous Peoples of the Javarí Valley (Univaja), whose members actively participated in the searches, stated that “an organized group planned the crime in detail.”
In this sense, Renata Neder, representative in Brazil of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), said that “it is very worrying that at this point in the first stages of an investigation, the authorities have already said that the murderers acted alone, that there is no intellectual author or participation of a criminal organization.”
For his part, on Saturday morning a third suspect named Jefferson da Silva Lima, nicknamed “Pelado da Dinha”, turned himself in at a police station in Atalaia do Norte. Head down and with a hooded face, he was taken to testify before a judge, who sentenced him to preventive detention for a month, informed sources close to the case.
The commissioner of the Civil Police, Alex Perez Timóteo, affirmed that “there is no doubt about the participation of the three in the double homicide”, and added that it is “very likely” that there will be more arrests in the coming days.
News that is being updated.-