Brazilian police identify five more suspects in murder of British journalist

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Brazilian police have identified five other suspects in the murder of British journalist Dom Phillips and fellow Brazilian traveler, government official Bruno Pereira. The suspects allegedly helped hide the bodies.

Police have not released the names of the new suspects. In a brief statement, police said the investigation aims to “list all the circumstances, motives and people involved in the case”.

Earlier, three men were arrested; Amarildo da Costa, a fisherman who confessed to killing Phillips and Pereira, his brother Oseney and Jeferson da Silva Lima.

Phillips wrote for the British newspaper The Guardian and Pereira worked for the Brazilian government agency for indigenous affairs. The two were on an expedition together in Brazil’s Javari Valley, along the border with Peru. They would have interviewed for a book about conservation in the region which is the scene of illegal fishing, logging, mining and drug trafficking.

According to police, Phillips and Pereira were shot with hunting ammunition. Before the two traveled together, Pereira reportedly received death threats, according to indigenous organizations.

In an earlier statement, police said the perpetrators acted alone and no criminal organization was involved in the murders of Phillips and Pereira. Indigenous organizations question this. Univaja, a local indigenous group involved in the investigation, says “everything indicates that Pereira and Philips crossed paths with a powerful criminal organization that tried at all costs to cover their tracks”.

The group claims to have warned the police on numerous occasions since the end of last year that a criminal organization is active in the Javarivalley. Police are still searching for the boat in which Phillips and Pereira were traveling and in which they were last seen alive.

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