Fears mount for British journalist missing in Amazon

Veteran foreign correspondent Dom Phillips. (Photo: Joao Laet/ AFP)

  • A freelance veteran journalist and a respected indigenous specialist were last seen early Sunday while travelling by boat in the Amazon.
  • They went missing after receiving threats.
  • The military has deployed a search operation and authorities are investigating.

Brazil’s government vowed on Tuesday to make every effort to find a British journalist and Brazilian indigenous expert who went missing deep in the Amazon after receiving threats, as distraught relatives warned that every minute counts.

Veteran freelance journalist Dom Phillips, 57, and respected indigenous specialist Bruno Pereira, 41, were last seen early Sunday travelling by boat in the remote Javari Valley, an indigenous reservation near Brazil’s border with Peru, where Phillips was researching a book.

They were expected back in the small city of Atalaia do Norte by around 09:00 Sunday, but never arrived – leading the authorities to open an investigation and the military to deploy a search operation.

The Brazilian government expressed its “grave concern” in a statement.

“Federal police were immediately mobilized and are taking all possible measures to find (the men) as quickly as possible,” it said.

The Brazilian government will continue supporting the search operation with the urgency the case demands… If the disappearance turns out to be the result of criminal activity, all steps will be taken to bring those responsible to justice.

Investigators brought two people in for questioning Monday, believed to be among the last to have been in contact with the missing men, police said in a statement.

Neither was detained, it said.

Indigenous rights groups working in the area say the men had received threats last week.

Pereira, an expert currently on leave from Brazil’s indigenous affairs agency, FUNAI, who knows the region well, has regularly received threats from poachers, loggers and miners trying to invade isolated indigenous groups’ land.

As the 48-hour mark passed with no news, the men’s families urged the authorities to act quickly.

“Time is a key factor in rescue operations, particularly if they are injured,” Pereira’s family said in a statement

It said his partner, three children and other relatives were in “anguish.”

Phillips’s sister Sian posted a video message online, fighting back tears.

“We are really worried about him and urge the authorities in Brazil to do all they can to search the route he was following,” she said.

“Every minute counts.”

Related Posts

Ukraine has told world leaders gathered in London that it expects to secured billions to help rebuild the country.

Ukrainian drone strikes Russia’s Kursk, Zelensky says US business is ready to invest in Ukraine

Ukraine hit an administrative building in Kursk. The railway station was damaged in August. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky met US businessmen. A Ukrainian drone strike hit an…

Massive US alligator killed after police find woman's body still in its mouth

Massive US alligator killed after police find woman’s body still in its mouth

An alligator killed a woman in Florida. Authorities killed the 4m animal. The woman’s body was in the animal’s mouth. An alligator was killed as it was…

Philippines navy

‘Our maritime domains’: Philippines slams Chinese barrier in South China Sea

The Philippines accused China of installing a barrier in the South China Sea. The barrier prevents fishermen from accessing the Scarborough Shoal. China claims 90% of the…

'Let's get this done': Biden blames 'extreme Republicans' for threatening US government shutdown

‘Let’s get this done’: Biden blames ‘extreme Republicans’ for threatening US government shutdown

The US government faces a shutdown on 30 September. US President Joe Biden blamed Republicans for the impasse. He wants any budget to include $24 billion in…

Rupert Murdoch, global media mogul and conservative kingmaker

Rupert Murdoch, global media mogul and conservative kingmaker

The 92-year-old Murdoch announced he is stepping back from both News Corp and Fox, conglomerates which made him a billionaire. His eldest son Lachlan will become the…

The water at Terkos Dam has receded significantly.

Cattle graze in dry reservoirs as drought grips Istanbul

The water at Terkos Dam has receded significantly. Omer Urer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images In the 11 months to September, Turkey’s northwest received 23% less precipitation…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *