A Senate special committee investigating the government’s actions regarding the murders of indigenous expert Bruno Pereira and British journalist Dom Phillips, who were killed in the Amazon in June, will vote on its final report today.
The committee held three public hearings regarding violence in the Vale do Javari region. Just one representative from the government attended one of them: Geovanio Pantoja, the coordinator for uncontacted indigenous peoples at the federal indigenous agency Funai. This is the same position once held by Mr. Pereira.
Four of the committee’s nine senators also traveled to the Vale do Javari indigenous reserve. Manoel Korubo, an indigenous leader, told them that the murders were a “tragedy foretold,” given the rise in violence in the region since late 2019.
The committee also invited Justice Minister Anderson Torres to a hearing, but he chose not to attend. Funai works under the Justice Ministry’s umbrella.
The report’s main point of debate will be the federal government’s responsibility for the murders of Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira, including by neglecting the region and allowing organized crime to prosper.
In a report on the committee’s trip to the Vale do Javari, Senator Fabiano Contarato referred to this practice as the “termitization” of the state, comparing the spread of organized crime to a termite attack.