Another Suspect Arrested For Disappearance Of Journalist

Brazilian authorities on Tuesday arrested a second suspect in the disappearance of a British journalist and a Brazilian indigenista, wanted for ten days in a remote and jungle region of Brazil’s Amazon when they investigated threats against indigenous peoples.

The arrest was announced in a statement by the Federal Police, which coordinates the “Crisis Committee” created by the Government to participate in the search for British journalist Dom Phillips, a contributor to The Guardian newspaper, and indigenist Bruno Araújo Pereira, who have disappeared since on June 5 in a region of the Amazon near the border of Brazil with Peru and Colombia.

According to the statement, those responsible for the operation complied with a temporary detention order issued against Oseney da Costa de Oliveira, 41 years old and known as “Dos Santos”, for “suspicion of participation in the case together with Amarildo da Costa Oliveira, alias “Pelado” and who has been in prison for a week.”

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Amarildo, brother of Oseney, is for now the main suspect, since he had made threats against the indigenista and was seen chasing the disappeared in a boat, since some personal belongings of Phillips and Araújo were found hidden in a place near his home.

The second suspect “is being interrogated and will be taken to a custody hearing before the Justice” in Atalaia do Norte, a municipality in the state of Amazonas, according to the statement.

The Federal Police reported in the same statement that it continues to search both rivers and areas in the Itaquaí River region, in the jurisdiction of Atalaia do Norte, where the disappeared were last seen.

According to the note, the federal agents also fulfilled two search and seizure mandates in residences in Atalaia do Norte in which some firearm cartridges and an oar were found, which will be subjected to analysis.

The trail of Phillips and Araújo was lost on June 5 when they were traveling from the community of Sao Rafael to the city of Atalaia do Norte, where they should have arrived on the morning of that Sunday.

They were traveling in a new boat, with 70 liters of gasoline, enough for the trip, and were last seen near the community of Sao Gabriel, a few kilometers from Sao Rafael.

Araújo, who has been working in that region for years and knows the area in depth, had been the target of various threats from mafias of illegal miners, loggers and even drug traffickers who operate in the so-called Valle do Javari, which has aroused fears of a murder among his relatives.

Phillips, for his part, is a veteran journalist based in Brazil for 15 years and who has collaborated with various international media, such as the Financial Times, New York Times and the Washington Post, among others, and is currently working on an investigation for a book about Valle do Javari.

After little more than a week of searches and few results, non-governmental organizations and international organizations such as the UN Human Rights Office and the OAS Inter-American Commission on Human Rights have raised their voices to urge the Government of Jair Bolsonaro to “redouble “his efforts to find the missing.

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