Brazilian Federal Police arrested this Saturday five more men in an investigation of the assassination of British journalist Dom Phillips and indigenous expert Bruno Pereira in the Amazon rainforest in June.
Police said in a statement that issued seven arrest warrants for illegal fishing in the Vale do Javari region, the remote area near the border with Colombia and Peru where Phillips and Pereira disappeared on June 5.
The region has been invaded by illegal fishermen, loggers and gold miners. Police say it’s a
Philipsa freelance reporter who wrote for Guardian Y The Washington Post, I was doing research for a book about trip with Pereira, a former chief of isolated and recently contacted tribes at the federal agency for indigenous affairs Funai.
Two of the seven suspects were already in custody: Rubén Darío da Silva Villar, known as “Colombia,” and fisherman Amarildo Costa de Oliveira, known as “Pelado,” who was arrested in June as the main suspect in the murder.
According to the police, Da Silva Villar would be the leader and financier of an armed criminal gang dedicated to illegal fishing that was smuggled to neighboring countries.
Three of the newly arrested men, whose names were not released, are relatives of Amarildo and were involved in hiding the bodies of Phillips and Pereira, police said.
Pereira, a former senior official at the federal agency for indigenous affairs Funai, had previously confronted Amarildo for illegal fishing within the indigenous territory.
Federal prosecutors said Phillips was killed so he couldn’t identify the killers. (Reuters)