Murders in the Amazon: The mystery grows after the formal identification of human remains

Murders in the Amazon: The mystery grows after the formal identification of human remains

The human remains discovered in the Amazon (Brazil) in the last few days have been identified. These are indeed those of the British journalist Dom Phillips.

Less than 20 days after the disappearance of Guardian journalist Dom Phillips and Brazilian Bruno Pereira, the human remains discovered in Brazil in recent days have been identified. These are indeed the one of the two men wanted since June 5, 2022. An announcement confirmed by the Brazilian police this Friday, June 17.

Officially, the “murderers acted alone”

The remains were found buried two hours from the nearest town in a very dense forest, reports The Guardian. “This confirmation was possible thanks to an odontological examination (…) The work of full identification continues in order to better understand the cause of death, the dynamics of the crime and the concealment of the bodies,” police said in a press release forwarded by AFP .

According to the initial findings of the investigation, the “murderers acted alone, without a perpetrator or criminal organization behind them”. In addition, other people could have been involved in the crime, the local authorities report. Further arrests are possible.

“Criminal gangs” behind the murder?

Univaja, the indigenous group Bruno Pereira worked with, disputes the police version. The group has reportedly raised multiple reports of the presence of “criminal gangs” in the area to law enforcement in recent months.

The “cruelty in carrying out the crime shows that Pereira and Phillips stood in the way of a powerful criminal organization that was desperate to cover their tracks during the investigation,” indigenous officials said in a statement. And to add: “This connection shows that it is not just about two executioners, but about an organized group that planned every detail of this crime.”

A targeted assassination, according to the United States

in one tweet, Ned Price, spokesman for the US Executive Department for International Relations, said the two men were “murdered because they supported the protection of the rainforest and the region’s indigenous peoples”. And to “call for accountability and justice – we must together step up efforts to protect environmentalists and journalists”.

This region, home to the world’s largest number of uncontacted tribal peoples, has attracted cocaine traffickers, loggers, miners and illegal hunters due to its remoteness and difficult access. Amarildo da Costa’s brother, Oseney da Costa, was arrested on Tuesday 14 June but he denies any involvement in the crime.