Sunday, June 26, 2022

Brazil: British Journalist and Brazilian Expert Wanted

RIO DE JANEIRO ( Associated Press) — A British journalist and a Brazilian indigenous affairs official remained missing in a remote part of the Amazon on Tuesday as authorities said they were expanding the search in the area, which has seen violent conflict between fishermen. , poachers and government agents.

Dom Phillips, who writes regularly for the British newspaper The Guardian, and Bruno Araújo Pereira were last seen on Sunday in the community of Sao Rafael, according to the Univaja association of villages in the Vale do Javari territory, of which Araújo Pereira has been an advisor.

The two were returning by boat to the city of Atalaia do Norte, about an hour away, but they never arrived.

Araújo Pereira is one of the most experienced employees of the Brazilian indigenous affairs agency in the Vale do Javari area. He supervised the regional office of the agency and the coordination of isolated indigenous groups before going on leave. He has received numerous threats from illegal fishermen and hunters and usually carries a firearm.

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Univaja said that the two men had been threatened during their trip. On Saturday, when they were encamped, a small group of men arrived by river at the edge of the indigenous territory and showed their weapons to a Unijava patrol, the association’s president, Paulo Marubo, told The Associated Press. Phillips photographed the men, Marubo said.

Phillips, 57, has been reporting from Brazil for more than a decade and has been working on a book about preserving the Amazon with the backing of the Alicia Patterson Foundation, which gave her a one-year fellowship for environmental reporting that she completed. in January.

The two men went missing on their way back from a two-day trip to the Lake Jaburu region, where Phillips interviewed local indigenous people, Univaja said. The two of them were alone in the boat.

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The place where they disappeared is the main access route to the Vale do Javari, the second largest indigenous territory in Brazil, where several thousand indigenous people live in dozens of villages. People in the area say it is highly unlikely that the men were lost in that sector.

“He is a cautious journalist, with an impressive understanding of the complexities of the Brazilian environmental crisis,” said Margaret Engel, executive director of the Alicia Patterson Foundation, in an email.

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Mauricio Savarese in Sao Paulo and Débora Álvares in Brasilia contributed to this report.

Nation World News Desk
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