Bodies of Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira found in remote Amazon, says journalist’s wife

dom phillips bodies
Dom Phillips. Photo: Personal archive

The bodies of British journalist Dom Phillips and indigenous expert Bruno Pereira have reportedly been found, according to Alessandra Sampaio, Mr. Phillips’s wife. The pair had been reported missing one week ago, after disappearing on a research trip in the remote western Amazon.

Ms. Sampaio told journalist André Trigueiro that the bodies still need to undergo forensic investigations. Brazilian authorities have yet to confirm the discovery.

On the morning of June 5, the pair set off on a two-hour journey to the city of Atalaia do Norte, in the vicinity of the vast and remote Vale do Javari indigenous reserve. When they didn’t arrive at their destination, representatives of local indigenous organizations sounded the alarm and began searches.

On Sunday, firefighters found items belonging to the two men, including Mr. Pereira’s clothes and photo ID, as well as Mr. Phillips’s backpack, which was tied to a partially submerged tree branch.

Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira, nicknamed ‘Pelado,’ is in custody in connection with the two men’s disappearance. A well-known illegal fisherman in the area, eyewitness statements say Pelado’s boat was seen pursuing Messrs. Phillips and Pereira downriver, shortly after the men were last seen. 

Earlier today, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet expressed concerns over “threats against environmental human rights defenders and indigenous people, including exposure to contamination by illegal gold mining” in Brazil.