Fears for Brit journalist missing with Indigenous expert in Amazon

Fears for British journalist as he vanishes with Brazilian Indigenous expert in a remote corner of the Amazon – days after receiving threats

  • British reporter Dom Phillips was last seen yesterday morning before a boat trip
  • Based in Brazil for the past 15 years, he has covered country’s ethnic conflicts
  • He was travelling with Indigenous tribe protector Bruno Araújo Pereira 
  • Indigenous leaders say Dom and Bruno faced ‘threats’ before they vanished

A British journalist has gone missing in a remote part of the Amazon rainforest days after he and his Indigenous travelling partner were subject to ‘threats’.

Dom Phillips and Indigenous Brazilian campaigner Bruno Araújo Pereira were last seen in the early hours of Sunday morning.

They arrived in remote Amazon region Javari and were expected to make the two-hour boat trip to Atalaia do Norte, with their arrival planned for 8am on Sunday.

Guardian, Washington Post and New York Times journalist Dom Phillips is missing in Brazil

But the pair never arrived.

A search party was sent out at 9am, but has come up short for almost 48 hours. 

Mr Phillips has courted occasional controversy among Brazilian officials for his fearsome, award-winning reporting on local environmental issues.

Mr Pereira has also made enemies among opponents of the Indigenous tribes he has worked on behalf of.

One hot-button issue involves the rights of loggers and miners to exploit Indigenous land.

Indigenous union Univaja said the pair had faced ‘threats’ from local antagonists.

But the nature of these threats, and whether violence may be involved, was not clear.

Pereira’s near-unrivalled knowledge of the local area makes the theory they are lost relatively unlikely.

The purpose of their trip was to visit an Indigenous Surveillance team near Lago do Jaburu.

Mr Phillips hoped to interview some members of the local communities for a book about the environment.

Indigenous activist Bruno Pereira is an expert on the region, suggesting the pair are not lost

He has worked for the Guardian, the Washington Post, the New York Times and the Financial Times.

A spokesperson for The Guardian said: ‘The Guardian is very concerned and is urgently seeking information about Mr Phillips’ whereabouts and condition. 

‘We are in contact with the British embassy in Brazil and local and national authorities to try to establish the facts as soon as possible.’

Brazil’s Federal Police, the Army and the Federal Public Ministry are searching for the pair.

Univaja spokesperson Beto Marubo said: ‘This week the team received threats in the field, in addition to others that were already being made to Univaja’s technical team, in addition to other reports already made official to the Federal Police and the Federal Public Ministry in Tabatinga.’

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) did not immediately answer a MailOnline request for more information.

The British Embassy in Brazil is working to track down Mr Phillips and Mr Pereira’s whereabouts as soon as possible.

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