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Ray Mears ‘hopeful’ Brit Dom Phillips is still alive after disappearing from Amazon – Archyde

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Ray Mears, a survivalist, has dubbed the area where veteran British journalist Dom Phillips and his Brazilian colleague Bruno Araujo Pereir disappeared into the rainforest the new “Wild West”.

Survival expert Ray Mears hopes a British journalist who disappeared in the Amazon rainforest is still alive
Survival expert Ray Mears hopes a British journalist who disappeared in the Amazon rainforest is still alive

Survival expert Ray Mears hopes a British journalist who disappeared in the Amazon rainforest is still alive.

Dom Phillips and his Brazilian colleague Bruno Araujo Pereir, an indigenous affairs official, disappeared more than three days ago in the Javari Valley region.

The vast and “lawless” area is home to the world’s largest number of uncontacted indigenous people, as well as drug gangs, illegal hunters and fishermen.

In the days since police arrested two men in the area believed to have been involved in an altercation with the couple.

Mr Mears said the pair may have fled into the jungle for safety after the confrontation in what he described as the ‘Wild West’ area.







Dom Phillips disappeared three days ago in the Amazon rainforest with his colleague Bruno Pereir
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Picture:

AFP via Getty Images)

He told The Mirror: “I don’t know what happened, I really, really hope they are found alive and well and get back to their families safely.”

He added that both men were “brave to report from the front lines that the world doesn’t know they exist”.

Mr Mears said although the area was a “very, very lawless place” there was still a high chance they could survive.

He told The Mirror: “It depends on what gear they have with them and what knowledge they have […]

“If you have the right training and the right equipment, the rainforest can be a very fertile place.

“But in many cases you need certain skills to take care of yourself.

“You need a cutting tool. If you have a cutting tool, you can encourage the rainforest to provide you with lots of resources and get away from the troubles.”







Indigenous expert Bruno Pereira is also missing
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Picture:

FAMILY HANDBOOK/AFP via Getty Ima)







Search operations are in progress
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Picture:

Brazilian Federal Police HANDOUT/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

He said one of the main problems then was getting shelter from the forest floor – which is full of “things that bite”.

Mr Mears adds: “And if you can just identify a few sources of food. It’s not easy, but you can maintain some level of nutrition.”

Earlier this morning it emerged that Brazilian police were questioning a man in connection with the disappearance.

A vigil for the pair is held outside the Brazilian embassy in central London, with protesters carrying large pictures of the missing men while urging Brazilian authorities to step up the search effort immediately.

This comes as a 41-year-old suspect was arrested for allegedly carrying a firearm without a permit, a common practice in the area.

Police did not explain why he was being treated as a suspect, but it is believed he was among a group of men who threatened the couple near an indigenous territory on Saturday.







A vigil is being held in London for the missing
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Picture:

via REUTERS)







Mr Phillips was researching a new book about the area at the time of his disappearance
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Picture:

via REUTERS)

Mr Phillips, 57, a regular contributor to the Guardian, has been reporting from Brazil for more than a decade and was working on a book on Amazon conservation.

He had photographed the men after the confrontation, after they traveled by river to the territory’s borders, according to the Univaja Association of people in the Vale do Javari Indigenous Territory.

The association’s president, Paulo Marubo, previously said the group aimed firearms at a Univaja patrol.

Four other people have been questioned since the investigation began, but no arrests have yet been made in connection with the disappearance, authorities said.

The two men were supposed to arrive by boat to nearby Atalaia do Norte on Sunday morning but never made it to the town.

Local Indigenous leaders, family members and colleagues of Mr Pereira and Mr Phillips have called for increased efforts to locate them.

The vigil, which was sponsored by Greenpeace, comes amid concerns authorities have received little assistance in the search.

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https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/ray-mears-hopeful-brit-dom-27188829 Ray Mears 'hopeful' Brit Dom Phillips is still alive after disappearing from Amazon - Archyde

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