British Journalist, Indigenous Expert Vanish in Amazon

Many are very concerned for their well-being
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 7, 2022 1:40 AM CDT
British Journalist, Indigenous Expert Go Missing in Amazon
British journalist Dom Phillips, right, and a Yanomami Indigenous man are seen at Maloca Papiu village, Roraima state, Brazil, on November 2019.   (AP Photo/Joao Laet)

A British journalist and one of Brazil's former Indigenous Affairs officials have gone missing in a remote part of the Amazon rainforest, leading to serious fears for their safety. Brazil-based journalist Dom Phillips, who is working on a book about the environment, was traveling with Bruno Araújo Pereira, a former government official now in charge of protecting Brazil’s uncontacted tribes, the Guardian reports. Pereira is often threatened by loggers, miners, fishermen, and poachers who want the land those tribes inhabit, and the pair had been threatened by a man with a gun during the reporting mission they were on, the day before they vanished, the AP reports. They were last seen early Sunday as they set out for their return boat trip after two days in the field. They never made it.

"We need an urgent search mission. We need the police, we need the army, we need firefighters, we need civil defense forces. We have no time to lose," says an Indigenous leader from the area who knows both men. Indigenous and environmental activists have organized search parties alongside multiple police and military agencies Brazil has mobilized. The region the men went missing in has been host to violent confrontations between hunters, fishermen, and government officials in the past. An Indigenous Affairs employee was shot dead in the area in 2019 in a crime that remains unsolved, and regional journalists have also been slain in the Amazon. (More Amazon rainforest stories.)

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