On June 5, a Sunday, British journalist Dom Phillips and indigenous expert Bruno Pereira set off on the final leg of a research trip outside the Vale do Javari indigenous reserve, in the western Brazilian Amazon.
Their last port of call was the fishing village of São Rafael, on the Itaquaí River, from where they would take a two-to-three-hour boat trip downriver to the city of Atalaia do Norte and head home.
But the two men haven’t been seen since. With each day that passes, hopes of finding the pair alive — or at all — dwindle.
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- Euan Marshall is an editor at The Brazilian Report and also hosts the Explaining Brazil podcast in the absence of Gustavo Ribeiro. He has been covering the Dom Phillips-Bruno Pereira disappearance from day 1.
- A journalist and an on-leave government official have disappeared in a massive reserve coveted by wildcat miners, illegal fishermen, and drug gangs. Euan Marshall explains the tensions within the Amazon’s Vale do Javari reserve.
- Exclusive documents obtained by Brasília correspondent Amanda Audi show that the Brazilian government ignored warnings about “imminent dangers” at Vale do Javari.
- In Explaining Brazil’s episode #71, we explained what is the Solimões drug route.
- Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira, nicknamed ‘Pelado,’ is being held in connection with the disappearance of Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira. Local political power has mobilized quickly to defend him.
- Members of the Brazilian Embassy in London wrongfully told relatives of Mr. Phillips that authorities had found his body and that of indigenous expert Bruno Pereira.
- The Jair Bolsonaro administration has been blamed for the lawlessness at Vale do Javari, as his administration has depleted the resources of environmental agencies. Between 2019 and 2021, the government enacted 57 legislative measures weakening conservation laws and favoring agricultural interests.
- Data from protection agencies shows that the government would need ten times more workers to properly enforce environmental controls.
- As of late, the Brazilian government has tried to refurbish its environmental image. But a presidential decree regulating carbon markets fails to establish mandatory goals for carbon emission cuts and could create legal uncertainty around the issue, further endangering the environment.
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