​Brazilian police charge ‘criminal mastermind’ behind murders of Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira

today05/06/2023 9

share close

Two more men have been charged with the murders of British journalist and former Mixmag editor Dom Phillips and Brazilian Indigenous expert Bruno Pereira’s murders in the Amazon last year, The Guardian reports.

Brazilian broadcaster TV Globo revealed on Sunday that two men, including the alleged leader of a “transnational illegal fishing network” Ruben Dario da Silva Villar, have been charged with Phillips and Pereira’s murders and the concealment of their bodies.

Jânio Freitas de Souza, a fisherman who was allegedly one of Ruben Dario da Silva Villar’s ‘henchmen’ along the same river where Phillips and Pereira were murdered, was also charged.

The men operated in the tri-border region between Brazil, Colombia, and Peru, according to TV Globo, and were working along the Itaquaí river where Phillips and Pereira were shot dead on June 5 while returning from a reporting mission.

Both Jânio Freitas de Souza and Ruben Dario da Silva Villar could face time in prison along with three more men who were previously jailed in relation to Phillips and Pereira’s murders. They currently await a possible jury trial.

Silva Villar was charged with the murders and concealment of both bodies, which were discovered on June 18, 2022, some 13 days after they were killed. The Guardian reported that a police indictment revealed both Souza and Silva Villar spoke in the days leading up to the murders.

Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira set out on a reporting mission in the remote region of Javari Valley last year to raise awareness and help the Indigenous communities of Brazil in defending their lands.

Phillips has reported critically on topics including the policies of former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, corruption among his political allies, and allegations against meat processing companies and goldminers for illegal Amazon deforestation that is impacting Indigenous communities.

The British journalist’s book, How to Save the Amazon: Ask The People Who Know, is due to be finished and published posthumously by friends and colleagues.

Speaking to The Guardian, one contributing journalist Jonathan Watts said: “We wanted to focus on something positive, and the most important thing we could think of was to complete the work that Dom had started. Good journalism mustn’t be silenced.”

Bruno Araújo Pereira was a former government employee whose work focused on protecting Brazil’s uncontacted tribes. He has regularly received threats from loggers and miners seeking to exploit Indigenous lands.

Several events in both Brazil and the UK are due to take place in memory of Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira this week, marking one year since their murders. They’re due to go ahead in Brasília, Funai, Campinas, Salvador, Belém, and London.

Help to fund the release of Dom Phillips’ posthumous book, How To Save the Amazon, here.

[Via: The Guardian]

Gemma Ross is Mixmag’s Assistant Editor, follow her on Twitter

Powered by WPeMatico

Written by: Tim Hopkins

Rate it