Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira: Brazilian police accuse former agency bosses of misconduct in Amazon murder case | world news

Two former agency officials have been charged in Brazil for the murder of a British freelance journalist.

Police said the two former officials did not act on information before the murders of Dom Phillips and indigenous expert Bruno Pereira.

Officers have yet to name the two former officials, but state news agency Agencia Brasil said they were former Funai president Marcelo Xavier and former vice -president, Alcir Amaral Teixeira.

According to federal police, both men knew from the 2019 Funai meeting and through other forms of documentation that the lives of employees – like Pereira – of the agency were in danger. The police say they did not take the “necessary measures” to protect them, which “resulted in the double homicide”.

Mr. Phillips and Mr. Pereira were last seen on their boat on the Itaquai River in the Javari Valley on June 5, 2022, where they disappeared shortly after.

Itacoai River during the search operation for British journalist Dom Phillips and indigenous expert Bruno Pereira in 2022

The region is on the Peruvian border with Brazil.

It is home to the largest indigenous communities in the world, cocaine smuggling gangs, illegal hunts and fishing rackets.

After they disappeared, their bodies were found 10 days later and an autopsy report suggested they had been killed by “typical hunting firearm and ammunition”.

Police say the killings were planned by gang leader Ruben Dario da Silva Villar because Pereira was executing
inspections of illegal fishing operations, causing losses to the criminal group of Villar.

Villar and three others have been charged with double homicide and concealment of corpses.

Mr. Phillips, who had written for The Guardian, The Washington Post and contributed to The Times

Hr was looking for a book about the trip with Mr. Pereira, a former leader of isolated tribes and recently contacted at the federal indigenous affairs agency Funai.

Read more from Sky News:
Boat used by murdered British journalist and indigenous expert found sunk with sandbags
Five suspects who helped hide the bodies of the British journalist and his companion in the Amazon identified

“Quest for Justice”

After Mr Phillips’ body was found, his wife said the family could ‘say goodbye with love’.

She added: “Today we also begin our quest for justice. I hope the investigations will exhaust all avenues and provide definitive answers on all relevant details as soon as possible.”

Demonstrations were also held across the country last year by local residents and activists condemning the killings and criticizing the government for cutting public support for indigenous communities.

Relatives of British journalist Dom Phillips' wife protest after the disappearance in the Amazon of Mr Phillips and indigenous expert Mr Pereira
Relatives of British journalist Dom Phillips’ wife protest after the disappearance in the Amazon of Mr Phillips and indigenous expert Mr Pereira

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