Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira-Araujo were conducting an investigation into threats by illegal businessmen and other criminals against Indigenous peoples.
On Sunday, Brazilian's Federal Police (PF) anounced they found a backpack with a laptop, clothing, books, and a health card in the area where The Guardian journalist Dom Phillips and ethnologist Bruno Pereira-Araujo disappeared a week ago.
On June 5, Phillips and Pereira-Araujo disappeared in the Javari Valley in the Amazon jungle near the borders with Peru and Colombia, where they were conducting an investigation into threats by illegal businessmen and other criminals against Indigenous peoples.
The backpack was tied to a tree near the house of Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira (aka Pelado), who was arrested after authorities found traces of blood on one of his boats.
After a week of fruitless searches, human rights defenders and environmental activists demanded that President Jair Bolsonaro's administration redouble its efforts to find the British journalist and the Brazilian ethnologist.
We are waiting to find out what has happened to these courageous men ..— U2 (@U2) June 13, 2022
The Javari Valley is Brazil's second largest indigenous reserve and is known for being a scene of conflict dominated by drug trafficking, timber theft, and illegal mining.
Pereira-Araijo, who had reported threats against his life due to his activism in the Amazon region, disappeared when he was accompanying the British journalist from the community of Sao Rafael to the city of Atalaia do Norte, in the state of Amazonas.
In 2018, Araujo-Pereira was coordinator of "Isolated and Recently Contacted Indigenous Peoples" at the National Indian Foundation (FUNAI) in Atalaia do Norte, precisely in the area where he was last seen. He led the largest contact expedition with uncontacted Indians in the last 20 years, as recalled by local outlet UOL.
#Brazil | Indigenous Peoples pressure the #EuropeanUnion to take its responsibility in the exploitation of the #Amazon rainforest.#Environment #Nature pic.twitter.com/oqxCXE2n8y— teleSUR English (@telesurenglish) November 6, 2019