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Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira: Police in Brazil accuse ex-agency bosses of misconduct in Amazon murder case | World News


Two former agency officials have been indicted in Brazil in connection with the murder of a British freelance journalist.

Police said the two former officials failed to act on information ahead of the murders of Dom Phillips and indigenous expert Bruno Pereira.

Officers have not yet named the two former officials, but state news agency Agencia Brasil said they were Funai’s former president Marcelo Xavier and former vice president Alcir Amaral Teixeira.

According to the federal police, the two were aware at the Funai meeting in 2019 and through other forms of documentation that employees’ lives – such as Pereira – at the agency were at risk. Police say they did not take the “necessary measures” to protect them, which “culminated in the double homicide.”

Mr Phillips and Mr Pereira were last seen on their boat on the Itaquai River in the Javari Valley on 5 June 2022, where they disappeared shortly after.

Image:
Itacoai River during the search operation for British journalist Dom Phillips and indigenous expert Bruno Pereira in 2022

The region is on the Peruvian border with Brazil.

It is home to the world’s largest indigenous communities, cocaine-smuggling gangs, illegal hunting, and fishing rackets.

After their disappearance, their bodies were found 10 days later and an autopsy report suggested they were killed by a “firearm and typical hunting ammunition.”

Police said the murders were planned by gang leader Ruben Dario da Silva Villar because Pereira was carrying out
inspections of illegal fishing operations, causing losses to Villar’s criminal group.

Villar and three others have been charged with double homicide and concealment of corpses.

Mr Phillips, who had written for The Guardian, The Washington Post and contributed to The Times

Hr was researching a book on the trip with Mr Pereira, a former head of isolated and recently contacted tribes at the federal indigenous affairs agency Funai.

Read more from Sky News:
Boat used by murdered British journalist and indigenous expert found sunk with sandbags
Five suspects who helped hide bodies of British journalist and his companion in the Amazon identified

‘Quest for justice’

After Mr Phillips’s body was discovered, his wife said the family could “say goodbye with love”.

She added: “Today, we also begin our quest for justice. I hope that the investigations exhaust all possibilities and bring definitive answers on all relevant details as soon as possible.”

Protests were also held across the country last year by local residents and activists condemning the killings and criticising the government for cutting public support for indigenous communities.

Relatives of British journalist Dom Phillips' wife protest following the Amazon disappearance of Mr Phillips and indigenous expert Mr Pereira
Image:
Relatives of British journalist Dom Phillips’ wife protest following the Amazon disappearance of Mr Phillips and indigenous expert Mr Pereira



This story originally appeared on Skynews

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