Suspect Held Over Missing British Journalist and researcher in Amazon

Brazilian authorities announced Wednesday that they have caught a suspect in the abduction of a British journalist and an indigenous affairs expert in a remote Amazon region, but they have yet to determine whether the person was involved in their disappearance.

According to Amazonas state security secretary general Carlos Alberto Mansur, the suspect remained in police custody.

Mansur said the individual was apprehended after being discovered in possession of “a lot of drugs” and illegal hunting ammunition.

Brazilian authorities said they were looking into numerous possibilities, including homicide, and that they “can’t rule anything out.”

Dom Phillips and Bruno Arajo Pereira went missing in the Javari Valley in Amazonas state’s extreme western region on Sunday.

Phillips and Pereira allegedly received death threats. 

Brazilian Police have reportedly questioned five other people in connection with the disappearance of Phillips and Pereira, who had gone to the area to conduct research for a book project on conservation initiatives in the area, according to Mansur.

Federal Police Superintendent Eduardo Alexandre Fontes revealed that the search and rescue operation for Phillips and Pereira has involved 250 men, two helicopters, three drones, and 16 boats.

The region where Phillips and Pereira went missing was described by Fontes as “complex” and “hazardous.”

The Javari Valley, Brazil’s second-biggest indigenous region, is a patchwork of rivers and dense forest that makes access difficult. 

Illegal miners, loggers, hunters, and international drug traffickers have increasingly exploited the area’s huge network of rivers.

© Fourth Estate® — All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.