The Federal Police (PF) of Brazil will analyze the “traces of blood” found this Thursday on the boat of the only suspect arrested so far as part of the investigations into the disappearance in the Amazon, last Sunday, of a British journalist and a Brazilian indigenist.
British journalist Dom Phillips, a contributor to The Guardian newspaper, and Brazilian indigenist Bruno Araújo Pereira have been missing since Sunday morning in the Javari Valley, a remote and jungle region in the Brazilian Amazon, where they were conducting research to write a book. .
According to a statement from the Crisis Management Committee, created on Wednesday to coordinate the search efforts, “traces of blood were found on the boat of Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira, 41 years old and known as Pelado, arrested red-handed on Tuesday.” .
“The material collected is on its way to Manaus -the regional capital-, in the Black Hawk tactical helicopter, to be subjected to expertise,” said the committee’s statement, headed by the PF and in which the Civil and Militarized Police also participate. , the regional Fire Department, the Navy and the Army.
Judge Jacinta Silva dos Santos accepted the request for “temporary imprisonment” of alias Pelado, from whom weapons, ammunition and illegal drugs were seized. The suspect was seen on Sunday in a boat behind the boat of the disappeared, who were heading by river to the municipality of Atalaia de Norte.
According to the committee, the so-called Javarí Operation traveled 100 kilometers of the region by river and air in the last 24 hours and inquiries were made with the inhabitants of the towns of Santa Cruz, Cachoeira, Sao Gabriel and Sao Rafael, last town where the disappeared were seen alive.
Every hour that passes without concrete news about the disappeared increases the pressure of international organizations on the Brazilian government, accused of having a late reaction in this case.
This Thursday, Amnesty International (AI) even urged the authorities of Colombia and Peru to collaborate in the search for the disappeared, who were in a region near the borders with those countries, in an area where they were conducting an investigation into threats against the natives.
According to AI, “given the failure of the Brazilian authorities to locate the disappeared”, it is necessary that the government of President Jair Bolsonaro redouble its efforts, as well as international cooperation.
Bolsonaro expressed his desire that “they be found”, but admitted the possibility that “they have been executed”. And he said they were reckless because of their “adventure” in a region that has become an area of activity for groups dedicated to illegal logging, fishing, mining and hunting, as well as drug trafficking.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) had criticized on Wednesday the delay of the local authorities to start the searches, while the Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of the United Kingdom and interim head of that diplomatic representation, Melanie Hopkins, expressed on Thursday her “concern “For the lack of more news.
“We understand that the remote location of the region imposes considerable logistical challenges and we have already asked the Brazilian government to do everything possible to investigate the case and we appreciate the attention given so far,” Hopkins said on his Twitter profile.
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