Demonstrators hold placards and roses as they protest after journalist Dom Phillips and activist Bruno Araujo Pereira disappeared in the Amazon outside the Brazilian Embassy in London, Britain June 9, 2022. REUTERS /Toby Melville

Dom Phillips: second man arrested after the disappearance of a British journalist in the Amazon rainforest | world news

A second man has been arrested after British journalist Dom Phillips and his companion disappeared in the Amazon rainforest.

Mr Phillips and Bruno Pereira, a Brazilian indigenous expert, went missing more than a week ago on a remote stretch of the Itaquai River.

Police say the second man, Oseney da Costa de Oliveira, is the brother of the first man arrested.

Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira, nicknamed Pelado, remains in custody as the main suspect in the case.

Describing the latest arrest, police investigator Alex Perez said: “He did not resist arrest on suspicion of homicide based on testimony which placed both suspects at the alleged crime scene.”

Ammunition and an oar were also seized, but detectives have not confirmed why these items were confiscated, where they were found or who owned them.

Mr Phillips, 57, and Mr Pereira, 41, were last seen on June 5 near the entrance to the Javari Valley indigenous territory, which borders Peru and Colombia.

The brothers, both 41-year-old fishermen, are being held at the police station in Atalaia do Norte, the nearest town.

Pelado fired a gun at Mr. Phillips and Mr. Pereira the day before they disappeared, according to locals who were with them.

He denies doing anything wrong and claims military police tortured him to extract a confession, his family said.

The hunt for Mr. Phillips and Mr. Pereira seems to be coming to an end, as the search area narrows.

Dom Phillips
Dom Phillips

“We understand that we are heading towards the end”

Eliesio Marubo, a lawyer who helped search for the men, said uncovering evidence helped narrow the search.

“We understand that we are heading towards the end,” he said.

Police found a backpack, laptop and other personal items in a river on Sunday and it was reported the men’s bodies had also been found, although officers denied this on Monday.

Read more:
Officials link disappearance of British journalist in Brazil to ‘fish mafia’

Search teams find ‘apparently human’ remains where British journalist was last seen

The area in which MM. Phillips and Pereira disappeared has been rocked by violent conflict between fishermen, poachers and the government.

Mr Pereira previously headed the local office of the government’s indigenous agency, known as Funai, and was involved in several operations against illegal fishing.

There has also been violence as gangs fight for control of waterways to ship cocaine.

The Javari Valley has seven known indigenous groups – some of which have only recently been contacted – and at least 11 uncontacted groups, making it the largest concentration of uncontacted tribes in the world.

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