Second arrest over missing British journalist, indigenous expert in Brazil

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jun 15 2022 11:33 AM

Employees of the National Indian Foundation (Funai) participate in a protest to reject the statements of the president of Funai, Marcelo Augusto Xavier da Silva, about the disappearances of British journalist Dom Phillips (L on poster), a contributor to The Guardian newspaper, and the Brazilian indigenista Bruno Pereira Araujo (R on poster), in front of the Ministry of Justice and Public Security in Brasilia, Brazil, June 14, 2022. Joedson Alves, EPA-EFE
Employees of the National Indian Foundation (Funai) participate in a protest to reject the statements of the president of Funai, Marcelo Augusto Xavier da Silva, about the disappearances of British journalist Dom Phillips (L on poster), a contributor to The Guardian newspaper, and the Brazilian indigenista Bruno Pereira Araujo (R on poster), in front of the Ministry of Justice and Public Security in Brasilia, Brazil, June 14, 2022. Joedson Alves, EPA-EFE

ATALAIA DO NORTE — Police in Brazil said Wednesday they had arrested a second suspect in the disappearance earlier this month of British journalist Dom Phillips and Brazilian indigenous specialist Bruno Pereira.

The federal police said in a statement they had arrested a 41-year-old man identified as Oseney da Costa Oliveira, whom they said was "suspected of participating in the affair."

Brazilian media said he was the brother of the first suspect to be detained in the case, fisherman Amarildo da Costa Oliveira, also 41 and nicknamed "Pelado."

Witnesses said they saw Amarildo pass at high speed on board a boat going in the same direction as the boat in which Phillips and Pereira were traveling before their disappearance. 

Traces of blood on his boat are being analyzed, and personal effects of the two missing men were found underwater near the home of "Pelado," who was arrested on June 7 and has denied any involvement. 

Police said Tuesday they had also seized firearm cartridges and an oar, without specifying whether the objects were found in the same place where the latest suspect was arrested.

Veteran freelance journalist Phillips, 57, has worked in Brazil for the past 15 years.

Pereira, 41, is an expert who was on leave from his job with the Brazilian government's Indigenous affairs agency Funai, and a well-known advocate for these communities. 

He was accompanying the Briton as a guide on Phillips' second trip to the region since 2018 when they disappeared on June 5.

© Agence France-Presse

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