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Murders in the Amazon: the mystery grows after the formal identification of human remains


The human remains discovered in recent days in the Amazon (Brazil) have been identified. These are indeed those of the British journalist Dom Phillips.

Less than 20 days after the disappearance of Dom Phillips, journalist at the Guardian and the Brazilian Bruno Pereira, the human remains discovered in recent days in Brazil have been identified. These are indeed those of one of the two men wanted since June 5, 2022. An announcement confirmed by the Brazilian police this Friday, June 17.

Officially, the “killers acted alone”

The remains had been found buried two hours from the nearest town, in a very dense forest reports The Guardian. “This confirmation was possible thanks to an odontological examination (…) The work of complete identification continues, to better understand the cause of death, the dynamics of the crime and the concealment of the corpses”, declared the police force in a press release relayed by AFP.

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According to the first elements of the investigation, the “killers acted alone, without perpetrator or criminal organization behind them.” In addition, other people could have participated in the crime, report the local authorities. Further arrests are possible.

“Criminal gangs” behind the murder?

Univaja, the indigenous group with which Bruno Pereira worked disputes the version of the police. The group reportedly reported to law enforcement on multiple occasions in recent months about reports of the presence of “criminal gangs” in the area.

The “cruelty used in the practice of the crime shows that Pereira and Phillips got in the way of a powerful criminal organization that was out to cover their tracks at all costs during the investigation,” indigenous officials said in a statement. communicated. And to add: “This context shows that it is not only about two executioners, but about an organized group which planned every detail of this crime.”

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A targeted assassination, according to the United States

In a tweet, U.S. Federal Executive Department spokesman for international relations Ned Price, said the two men were “murdered for supporting the conservation of the rainforest and indigenous peoples of the region.” And to call for “responsibility and justice – we must collectively strengthen efforts to protect environmental defenders and journalists.”

This region, home to the largest number of uncontacted indigenous populations in the world, has attracted cocaine traffickers, as well as loggers, miners and illegal hunters due to its isolation and difficult access. Amarildo da Costa’s brother, Oseney da Costa, was arrested on Tuesday June 14, but he denies any involvement in the crime.

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