The Federal Police confirmed that the remains found in the Amazon last Wednesday (15) belong to the English journalist Dom Phillips. The result was obtained from the analysis of the dental arch (read full note below). The expertise should confirm this Friday (17) the identification of the remains of indigenist Bruno Araújo Pereira.
“Confirmation was based on the Forensic Dentistry exam combined with Forensic Anthropology. Work is underway to completely identify the remains to understand the causes of deaths, as well as to indicate the dynamics of the crime and concealment of the bodies “, informed the PF.
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Dom and Bruno had been missing since June 5, while on a trip to the indigenous land of Vale do Javari (AM). Two people were arrested for involvement in the crime (remember below). The material arrived for analysis at the National Institute of Criminalistics, in Brasília, on Thursday night (16).
Coffin with mortal remains found in Amazonas is carried by federal police at Brasília Airport — Photo: TV Globo/Reproduction
Bruno and Dom case: plane with human remains from Vale do Javari arrives in Brasília
In a note released this Friday, the PF also reported that investigations indicate that there was no mastermind or criminal organization involved in the crime. According to the text, the investigation continues and new arrests may occur, but the investigation points out “that the executioners acted alone”.
Suspect confessed to involvement
Disappearance of journalist and indigenist in AM: image shows Amarildo arrested — Photo: Reproduction
The announcement of the location of “human remnants” was made by the Minister of Justice and Public Security, Anderson Torres, on a social network, early on Wednesday night (15).
In a press conference the same night, the superintendent of the Federal Police (PF) in Amazonas, Alexandre Fontes, said that Amarildo da Costa Oliveira, known as “Pelado”, confessed to his involvement in the murder of Pereira and Phillips.
The victims were reportedly shot to death and the bodies quartered and buried. His brother, Oseney da Costa de Oliveira, known as “Dos Santos”, is also arrested on suspicion of participating in the case. Another three people are investigated.
This Thursday (16), the Federal Police carried out a search and seizure warrant at the home of one of the suspects involved in the crime, in Atalaia do Norte.
‘Human remnants’ found during searches must undergo forensics. — Photo: Edmar Barros/AP
The motive for the crime is still unclear, but the police are investigating whether there is any connection with illegal fishing and drug trafficking in the region. The second largest indigenous land in the country, Vale do Javari is the scene of typical conflicts in the Amazon: deforestation and the advance of mining.
Amarildo da Costa Oliveira, known as “Pelado”, has been detained since June 7. According to the police, he was seen by riverside people, on the day of his disappearance, in a speedboat right behind Pereira and Phillips’ boat. Agents found traces of blood on the suspect’s boat, who had been denying any connection with the case. Oseney, the “Dos Santos”, was temporarily arrested on Tuesday (14).
This Wednesday (15), in addition to confessing to the crimes, Amarildo also indicated where the vessel that was used by Bruno and Dom sank. The remains were found about 3.1 km away from where personal items of the indigenist and the journalist, such as a health card and notebook, had been found days ago.
See locations of the main events of the disappearance of indigenist and journalist in AM. — Photo: Art/g1
Photo montage by Brazilian indigenist Bruno Araújo Pereira and English journalist Dom Phillips — Photo: TV Globo/Reproduction
Before disappearing, Pereira, who was a licensed servant of the Fundação Nacional do Índio (Funai), and Phillips were seen for the last time in the São Rafael community on a trip expected to last two hours towards Atalaia do Norte, but they did not arrive at the destiny.
Shortly after the disappearance, the Union of Indigenous Peoples of Vale do Javari (Univaja) stated that Pereira received constant threats from loggers, prospectors and fishermen. In a statement released at the time, the organization described Pereira as “experienced and knowledgeable about the region, as he was the regional coordinator of Funai in Atalaia do Norte for years”.
According to the British newspaper “The Guardian”, to which Phillips was a contributor, the reporter was working on a book on the environment. He lived in Salvador and had been writing articles about Brazil for over 15 years. He also published in outlets such as “Washington Post”, “The New York Times” and “Financial Times”.
See full note from Federal police about the identification of Bishop Phillips:
“Manaus/AM – The Crisis Committee, coordinated by the Federal police/AM, informs that the Federal policeconfirms that the remnants of Bishop Phillips are part of the material that was collected at the location indicated by Mr. Amarildo da Costa Oliveira, who are being examined at the National Institute of Criminalistics.
Confirmation was based on the Forensic Dentistry exam combined with Forensic Anthropology. Work is underway to fully identify the remains, to understand the causes of the deaths, as well as to indicate the dynamics of the crime and the concealment of bodies.”
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