The minister said that the Brazilian police found human remains looking for a British journalist


The Brazilian Minister of Justice said, on Wednesday, that the police found human remains while searching for British journalist Dom Phillips and Brazilian indigenous expert Bruno Pereira after two fishermen confessed to killing them in the Amazon rainforest.

“I have just been notified by @federal police that human remains have been found at the site where the excavations were taking place.” Minister Anderson Torres said on Twitter.

The Federal Police will hold a press conference in Manaus at 7:30 pm local time (2330 GMT).

Register now to get free unlimited access to Reuters.com

TV Globo, citing police sources, reported that the two suspects had confessed to killing and dismembering the two men who went missing on June 5.

Police identified the two suspects as fisherman Amarildo da Costa, known as “Pelado,” who was arrested last week on a weapons charge, and his brother Osini da Costa, 41, or “Dos Santos,” who was taken into custody Tuesday night. Read more

The suspects’ family denied any role in the disappearance of the two men. Public attorneys representing the brothers could not immediately be reached for comment.

Reports point to a grim outcome to an issue that has alarmed the world, hanging over President Jair Bolsonaro at a regional summit and alarming the British Parliament on Wednesday.

Phillips, a freelance reporter who wrote for the Guardian and the Washington Post, was researching a book about the trip with Pereira, the former chief of isolated tribes recently contacted at the Funai Federal Agency for Indigenous Affairs.

They were in a remote jungle area near the borders with Colombia and Peru called the Javari Valley, which has the largest uncontacted indigenous population in the world. The area has been invaded by poachers, fishermen, loggers and miners, and police describe it as a major drug smuggling route.

In a report seen by Reuters, a federal police witness said the brothers were seen meeting on the Itaqui River moments after Phillips and Pereira passed on June 5, returning to the riverside town of Atalaia de Norte.

The police report said witnesses heard Pereira say he had received threats from Amarildo da Costa. Pereira, a former official with the Funai Agency for Indigenous Affairs, was instrumental in stopping illegal gold mining and poaching on rivers inhabited by the indigenous Javari tribes.

Register now to get free unlimited access to Reuters.com

Additional reporting by Jake Spring and Bruno Kelly Additional reporting by Peter Frontini and Stephen Grattan in Sao Paulo and Pedro Fonseca in Rio de Janeiro.

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

brain2gain