Defense Minister contradicts military command on British journalist disappearance

british disappearance
Brazil’s Defense Minister, Paulo Sérgio Nogueira, appeared before a House committee on Wednesday. Photo: Billy Boss/CD

Brazil’s Defense Minister, Paulo Sérgio Nogueira, contradicted a communiqué issued by the Amazon Military Command on Monday evening, regarding the disappearance of British journalist Dom Phillips and indigenous expert Bruno Pereira.

Replying to a congressman during a lower house hearing this afternoon, Gen. Nogueira said: “We don’t have more information, but I’ll say one thing. As soon as the news broke (…) I messaged the group of force commanders (…) ‘immediately deploy what you have near [the area].’”

On Monday, the Amazon Military Command issued a press statement saying that rescue actions would only begin after receiving orders from the military top brass. The communiqué was heavily criticized by the Brazilian media as it implied unnecessary delays to the search operation.

Messrs. Phillips and Pereira have yet to be found, and local police have arrested a suspect believed to be involved in their disappearance.