A suspect has confessed to the murder of a British journalist in Brazil
Ten days ago, British journalist Dom Phillips and Brazilian indigenous affairs expert Bruno Araujo Pereira disappeared.
The suspect arrested in the investigation that began after the disappearance ten days ago, the British journalist Dom Phillips and the Brazilian expert in the cases of the natives, Bruno Araujo Pereira, confessed that he was an accomplice in the murder and burial of the A location where "human remains" were retrieved, a Brazilian federal police officer announced on Wednesday.
"Last night (Tuesday night) we extracted the confession of the first of the two suspects arrested, he told us in detail how the crime was committed and told us where the bodies were buried," explained Eduardo Alessandro Fonzis, head of federal police in the state of Amazonas, stressing that the suspect confessed to being an accomplice in the "crime", without specifying his role.
"Excavations have been carried out on the spot, the search will continue, but human remains have already been found," he said.
"Once we can verify with the help of forensic medicine that these are indeed the remains of the bodies of Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira, we will hand them over to the families," he added.
Hours before the announcement, television cameras recorded one of the two suspects as he was leaving a police station and being taken by boat to the place of the police search.
The first suspect, Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira, a 41-year-old fisherman, was arrested on June 7th. Eyewitnesses said they saw him rush in the direction of Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira's boat before their disappearance. The second suspect, Ozenei da Costa de Oliveira, the brother of the first, was arrested last Tuesday night because he was suspected of "being involved in the case", according to the federal police.
On Sunday, authorities announced that they had found individual items of the two missing.
The British journalist and the Brazilian expert were last seen on June 5, during their tour of the Zavari Valley area.
This area, near the border with Peru and Colombia, has a reputation for being very dangerous: there is drug trafficking, illegal fishing, illegal logging, illegal gold mining.
In recent years, it has become a strategic hub for drug trafficking gangs, transporting cocaine and cannabis produced by river in neighboring countries.
The author of dozens of reports on the Amazon region, Dom Phillips, 57, decided to tour the area once again as part of his research to write a book on environmental protection.
Bruno Pereira, 41, an expert and advocate for indigenous peoples' rights, has been a member of the Brazilian Indigenous Public Service (FUNAI) for many years.
She was in charge of her branch in Atalaya do Norte (northwest), where the two men were returning before disappearing, as well as a program to protect isolated indigenous tribes in the Zavari Valley.
The father of three, Bruno Pereira had repeatedly received threats from people engaged in illegal logging, illegal fishing or gold mining and encroaching on protected areas.
Settling in Brazil for 15 years, a contributor to major newspapers such as the Guardian or the Washington Post, Dom Phillips was married to a Brazilian and had begun procedures to adopt a child.
Their disappearance has caused a great deal of emotional turmoil around the world, with reactions from front-line politicians and celebrities such as members of the Irish rock band U2.
Brazil's far-right president, Zaich Bolsonaro, who is in favor of exploiting gold and earth deposits in indigenous protected areas in the Amazon, has been criticized for calling the two men's tour of the region an "adventure he would not suggest".