A British journalist and a Brazilian expert on indigenous peoples, who had received threats, are missing in the Amazon, announced on Monday June 6, the daily The Guardian and indigenous rights groups. Freelance journalist Dom Phillips disappeared while researching a book in the Javari Valley, along with expert Bruno Araujo Pereira, detailed The Guardianwith whom the journalist collaborates regularly.
The two men traveled by boat on Lake Jaburu, located in the state of Amazonas (Northwest), and were to return Sunday evening to the town of Atalaia do Norte, said the Union of Indigenous Organizations of the Valley. Javari (Univaja) and the Observatory for the Human Rights of Isolated and Recently Contacted Indigenous Peoples (OPI).
They had “received threats on the ground the week [précédant] their disappearance”, added in a press release the two organizations. The latter did not specify the type of threats to which they were subjected, but Bruno Araujo Pereira, a fine connoisseur of the region and who worked for a long time at the National Indian Foundation (Funai), a government body responsible for indigenous peoples, has been regularly threatened by illegal loggers and miners coveting indigenous lands. La Funai told Agence France-Presse (AFP) that it was collaborating with local authorities for searches.
They were traveling on a new boat
According to Univaja and OPI, the two men left Atalaia do Norte to interview residents around a Funai base, and reached Lake Jaburu on Friday evening. They then headed back on Sunday morning, stopping in a community where Bruno Araujo Pereira had scheduled a meeting with the local chief to discuss the issue of indigenous patrols to combat the “invasions” of land.
The local chief not arriving, the two men decided to return to Atalaia do Norte, two hours away by boat, according to these two organizations. They were traveling on a new boat, with 70 liters of gasoline, “enough for the trip”and had satellite communication equipment, according to the same source.
The Guardian said in his press release ” very worried “ concerning his occasional collaborator, whose articles are also regularly published by The New York Timesand The Washington Post. “We condemn all attacks and violence against journalists and media workers. We hope that Dom and those who traveled with him will soon be found safe and sound.”adds the daily.
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