Veteran British Journalist, Indigenous Expert Missing in Brazil

Veteran British journalist Dom Phillips and respected Brazilian Indigenous expert Bruno Pereira have gone missing in a remote area of the Amazon rainforest days after receiving threats.

Indigenous leaders signaled the alarm that Phillips and Pereira disappeared when they were expected to arrive at the town of Atalaia do Norte on June 5 afternoon, but they never came.

The two men were traveling by boat while researching a book when they were last seen in the Javari Valley over the weekend, rights groups Union of Indigenous Organizations of the Javari Valley (UNIVAJA) and the Observatory for the Human Rights of Isolated and Recently Contacted Indigenous Peoples (OPI) said in a statement.

UNIVAJA and OPI said that the men had “received threats in the field” last week.

The federal police have begun an investigation and a search operation, to be led by the Brazilian navy.

Initial searches by indigenous locals “with extremely good knowledge” of the area have found no trace of the men, UNIVAJA and OPI said.

Phillips, 57, is a longtime contributor to the Guardian and has also contributed to The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Financial Times.

A Guardian News & Media spokesperson said, “The Guardian is very concerned and is urgently seeking information about Mr. Phillips’ whereabouts and condition. We are in contact with the British embassy in Brazil and local and national authorities to try to establish the facts as soon as possible.”

Pereira is an expert on isolated tribes in the Amazon and is currently on leave from the government’s indigenous affairs agency Funai “to pursue personal interests.”

Funai told AFP News that it was working with local authorities on the search effort.


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