Senate creates committee to investigate Dom Phillips-Bruno Pereira murders

dom phillips murders senate
From the left: Senators Nelsinho Trad, Randolfe Rodrigues, and Humberto Costa. Photo: Pedro França/SF

The Brazilian Senate on Monday created a committee to investigate the government’s actions regarding the murders of indigenous expert Bruno Pereira and British journalist Dom Phillips.

The nine-member committee will have a stated mission to “investigate in loco the causes of the increase in crime and attacks against indigenous peoples, quilombolas [descendent of traditional communities of enslaved people, who today enjoy some legal protections], and riverine peoples and journalists in the North region and in other states, as well as inspect the measures adopted in the face of the disappearance of indigenous expert Bruno Araújo and journalist Dom Phillips.” 

It will operate for 60 days — chaired by Randolfe Rodrigues, an opposition senator from the Amazonian state of Amapá. Nelsinho Trad, from Mato Grosso do Sul, was appointed as rapporteur.

Mr. Rodrigues said that this Monday afternoon the Senate Human Rights Committee will vote on an invitation for Justice Minister Anderson Torres to attend a joint session next Wednesday. 

Last week, pro-Bolsonaro lawmakers tried to defend Mr. Torres’ supposed right not to speak about the disappearance of Mssrs. Phillips and Pereira — the invitation was solely to talk about the killing of Genivaldo de Jesus Santos by Federal Highway Police officers.