A second suspect has been arrested following the disappearance of British journalist Dom Phillips along with indigenous expert Bruno Pereira in the Amazon rainforest of western Brazil
Image: AFP via Getty Images)
Brazilian police on Tuesday arrested a second suspect as part of an investigation into the disappearance of British journalist Dom Phillips and indigenous expert Bruno Pereira in the Amazon rainforest of western Brazil.
41-year-old Oseney da Costa de Oliveira, also known as “Dos Santos,” has been temporarily arrested on suspicion of being involved in the case involving his brother Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira, who was arrested last week, the newspaper said Federal police with .
Amarildo, known as “Pelado”, was arrested last week in the riverside village of Sao Gabriel, where the two men were last seen on June 5.
Police returned there on Tuesday and confiscated some ammunition and an oar, the statement said. Both suspects are being held at the police station in Atalaia do Norte, the nearest town, where the second man was arrested.
Speaking of Oseney, Alex Perez, a police investigator, told reporters, “He did not resist arrest on suspicion of murder based on testimony placed by the two suspects at the alleged crime scene.”
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The search for Mr Phillips and Mr Pereira is drawing to a close as the area to be searched continues to shrink, according to a spokesman for indigenous group Univaja, which has been searching non-stop for the men.
Eliesio Marubo, a lawyer for Univaja, said indigenous searchers tipped off authorities after spotting tracks of the men in the area and helped focus the search.
“We understand that we are heading towards the end. The search area has been further reduced,” Marubo said late Monday.
Mr Pereira, a former head of isolated and recently contacted tribes at the state agency for Indigenous Affairs Funai, traveled on a research trip with Mr Phillips, a freelance reporter who has written for the Guardian and the Washington Post and is working on a book The Amazon .
FAMILY HANDBOOK/AFP via Getty Ima)
They were in a remote jungle area near the borders of Colombia and Peru, which is home to the world’s largest number of uncontacted tribal peoples. The region has attracted cocaine smuggling gangs, as well as illegal loggers, miners and hunters.
On Sunday, police said searchers found the two men’s belongings in a stream by the river near where they were last seen on June 5.
A Reuters witness noted on Tuesday that authorities had opened a larger channel in the brush leading to the creek where the belongings were found, allowing larger boats to gain access to expand the search.
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In a letter verified by Reuters to the Phillips family on Tuesday, Brazil’s ambassador in London apologized for leaking false information about the discovery of bodies.
Information from investigators in Brazil misled the embassy, wrote Ambassador Fred Arruda: “I apologize from the bottom of my heart.”
The council that oversees Brazil’s judiciary on Tuesday set up a working group of prominent Brazilians, including photographer Sebastiao Salgado, to oversee the search effort.
Brazil’s federal police said they expect to complete forensic analysis of a blood sample taken from the first suspect’s boat this week.
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Sunday’s police statement said belongings of the missing men who were found included an identity card for Pereira. A search team firefighter told reporters about a backpack containing clothing and a laptop attached to a half-submerged log.
News of the couple’s disappearance resonated around the world, with human rights organizations, environmentalists and free press advocates urging Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to step up the search.
Indigenous protesters carrying banners with the two men’s faces went to Brazil’s Justice Ministry in the capital Brasilia on Tuesday to demand justice and answers.
Funai workers went on a day-long strike to demand more security for Indigenous experts working on the ground.
Mr Bolsonaro, who was once questioned harshly at a press conference for weakening environmental law enforcement by Mr Phillips, said last week the two men were “on an adventure that is not recommended” and speculated they may have been executed.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/breaking-second-suspect-arrested-brazil-27236681 Second suspect arrested by Brazilian police officers searching for missing British journalists in the Amazon