© Reuters. Federal Police officers carry a coffin containing human remains after a suspect confessed to killing British journalist Dom Phillips and Brazilian indigenous expert Bruno Pereira, and lead police to the site where the remains were found. at the headquarters of the Federation.
By Gabriel Araujo and Carolina Pulice
SAO PAULO (Reuters) – A forensic examination carried out on human bodies found in the Amazon rainforest (NASDAQ:) on Friday confirmed that they belonged to British journalist Dom Phillips, police Brazil’s federal government said, adding that a search was underway for a suspected man. in connection with his murder.
Work is underway to determine the cause of death, police said in a statement.
The remains of the second person, believed to be that of indigenous expert Bruno Pereira, are still being analyzed, a CNN Brasil report said earlier on Friday.
Pereira and Phillips disappeared on June 5 in the remote Javari Valley bordering Peru and Colombia. Earlier this week, police recovered human remains from a jungle grave where they were led by a fisherman, Amarildo da Costa Oliveira, who confessed to killing two men.
Phillips, a freelance reporter who has written for the Guardian and the Washington Post, was researching for a book during a trip with Pereira, a former leader of isolated tribes and recently linked at the agency’s public affairs agency. Indigenous theme federal Funai.
Police said their investigation revealed that there were multiple individuals involved in addition to Oliveira and that they were currently looking for a man named Jefferson da Silva Lima.
He is the third suspect named by police after Oliveira and his brother, Oseney da Costa, who were arrested this week.
“There is an arrest warrant issued by the Atalaia do Norte State Court for Jeferson da Silva Lima, aka ‘Pelado da Dinha’, who has not been identified at this time,” police said.
“Investigations indicate that the killers acted alone, with no boss or criminal organization behind the crime.”
However, local indigenous group Univaja, which is leading the search, said: “The brutality of the crime clearly shows that Pereira and Phillips were associated with a powerful criminal organization, try at all costs to cover its tracks during the investigation. “
It said it had notified federal police several times since late 2021 that there was an organized crime group active in the Javari Valley.
INA, a union representing workers in Funai, shares the same view.
“We all know that the violence in the Javari Valley is linked to a string of organized crime,” it said in a separate statement.
Police said they were still searching for the boat Phillips and Pereira were riding in when they were last seen alive.
U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price on Friday called for “accountability and justice,” saying Phillips and Pereira were killed for supporting the conservation of rainforests and indigenous peoples.
“Our condolences to the families of Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira… Together we must step up efforts to protect environmentalists and journalists,” Price said on Twitter (NYSE: .