Brazilian police launched a criminal investigation into the disappearance in the Amazon jungle of a British journalist.
Dom Phillips was reported missing by Bruno Araujo Pereira on Sunday. He is an ex-government official and local expert in indigenous affairs whose job it was to protect the uncontacted tribes of Brazil.
At least four witnesses were interviewed by officers who believe they saw Phillips. He is a freelancer who wrote for The Guardian, The Washington Post and The New York Times, among other publications.
Guilherme Torres is the head of the interior section of Amazonas’ state’s civil police. He told Reuters that Pereira had received a threatening note from a local fisherman and was being sought by police.
He stated that his colleagues had interviewed two fishermen on Monday as witnesses, and two more were questioned Tuesday.
The first two witnesses did not provide any useful information and Mr Torres didn’t have details about the second interview.
He stated that while we are working with the hypothesis of a crime having occurred, there is another possibility that they have been lost.
“Now, we want to find them alive in the shortest time possible. Parallel to this, a criminal investigation has been initiated to determine if any crime was committed.
Both the Brazilian navy and army sent search teams in helicopters and boats to try and find the pair. Federal and state police officers are supporting them.
Phillips, 57 years old, and his guide, were reported missing on a trip to the Javari Valley.
The vast area bordering Peru is home to the largest number of uncontacted indigenous people in the world.
Illegal miners, loggers and hunters are threatening the coca-growing gangs that produce the raw material for cocaine.
Torres stated that he couldn’t rule out the possibility that their disappearances were linked to the gangs operating within the lawless area.
Representatives from the Union of Indigenous Peoples of the Javari Valley first reported their disappearance.
According to reports, they recorded the confrontation using a mobile phone.
Both men had many years of experience in the Amazon rainforest and were now missing. This prompted concern worldwide from environmentalists, human rights advocates, politicians, and journalists.
Alessandra Sampaio (wife of Mr Phillips) urged authorities to increase their search efforts in an emotional television interview. “We still have a small hope of finding them,” she said.
She added, “Even though I don’t find my love of life alive, they must be found, please.”
His sister Sian Philips said Monday to Sky News that she was worried about illegal logging in the area where he disappeared.
“I am very anxious. I am very worried. It’s your worst fear,” Ms Phillips stated.
“We need all the help we can get.” We ask the UK to press Brazilian officials to take action.”
His family released a statement requesting a strong search operation and adding that they were hopeful of finding the boat in an accident. They also stated that they would wait for help.
In a TV interview, President Jair Bolsonaro stated Tuesday that the men were “on an adventure that isn’t recommended”.
He said, “It could have been an accident, it could have been that they were executed. Anything could have happened.” “I hope that and
We pray to God that they will be found soon.
Phillips had to confront the Brazilian leader about his policies that have weakened enforcement of environmental laws.
The Javari Valley tribal lands should be protected from the wrath of indigenous patrols, who have complained repeatedly about weaker enforcement of environmental laws since Bolsonaro’s election.
They often clash with illegal hunters and miners in the area.
Phillips was researching a book on Amazon and its environmental defenders.