| 11.9°C Dublin

Brothers admit murdering UK reporter and Brazilian guide

Close

Officers escort a man accused of murdering UK journalist Dom Phillips and guide Bruno Pereira in the Amazon. Photo: Reuters/Bruno Kelly

Officers escort a man accused of murdering UK journalist Dom Phillips and guide Bruno Pereira in the Amazon. Photo: Reuters/Bruno Kelly

Officers escort a man accused of murdering UK journalist Dom Phillips and guide Bruno Pereira in the Amazon. Photo: Reuters/Bruno Kelly

Two brothers have confessed to shooting dead a British journalist and his Brazilian guide in a remote Amazon region, police said.

Veteran reporter Dom Phillips and indigenous peoples expert Bruno Pereira were travelling on the Itaquai River, deep in the western Brazilian Amazon, when they disappeared on June 5.

Two suspects, brothers Oseney and Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira, have since been detained.

Federal police, accompanied by a sniffer dog, were last night seen escorting one of the suspects to the stretch of river where Mr Phillips and Mr Pereira were last seen.

The suspect was escorted by officers with his face covered, a red and black hooded sweatshirt pulled low over his head, in images shown on TV Globo, Brazil’s biggest broadcaster.

He was identified by local media as 41-year-old Oseney. He was placed on a police boat that set off for the spot on the river where investigators are searching for signs of Mr Phillips (57) and Mr Pereira (41).

It came amid reports that a key witness had told detectives they heard gunshots in the same area.

Local broadcaster Band News, citing federal police sources, said the suspects ambushed the two men on the river and killed them before dismembering the bodies, setting them on fire and throwing them in a ditch.

The reports could not be independently confirmed last
night. Federal police in Atalaia do Norte have not yet commented on the reported confession.

A representative of the Union of Indigenous Peoples of the Javari Valley (Univaja), the group that has led searches since the pair’s disappearance, said it was “too early to confirm” reports of a confession.

Mr Phillips, a former contributor to the Washington Post and The Guardian, and Mr Pereira, a former Brazilian indigenous rights official, were on a research trip for a book titled How to Save the Amazon.

Jair Bolsonaro, the Brazilian president, who last year faced tough questioning from Mr Phillips over his environmental record, struck an unsympathetic tone last night by saying the expedition was “reckless”.

Daily Digest Newsletter

Get ahead of the day with the morning headlines at 7.30am and Fionnán Sheahan's exclusive take on the day's news every afternoon, with our free daily newsletter.

This field is required

“This English guy was not well liked in the region because he wrote a lot of articles about illegal mining and environmental issues,” Mr Bolsonaro said.

“There are pirates in the river there, there’s everything you could possibly imagine. It’s very reckless to be in that region without being properly physically prepared, which it seems they were not.”

UK prime minister Boris Johnson said yesterday he was “deeply concerned” and the British government was working with Brazilian authorities investigating the case.

Oseney da Costa de Oliveira was arrested on Tuesday evening in the riverside village of Sao Gabriel, where police seized firearm cartridges and an oar. His brother Amarildo has been in custody since last week. (© Telegraph Media Group Ltd 2022)

Telegraph Media Group Limited [2022]


Related topics


Most Watched





Privacy