Brazilian police identify five more suspects in murders of Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira

Brazilian police identify five more suspects in murders of Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira

Brazilian police identify five more suspects in murders of Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira

Brazilian police have identified five more people allegedly linked to the murders of British journalist Dom Phillips and indigenous expert Bruno Pereira, bringing the total number of suspects in the high-profile murders to eight.

The five new suspects are accused of helping the killers hide the bodies in a hard-to-reach place. Police told reporters that all five have been identified and are under investigation, although they have yet to be arrested.

It comes after nearly 10 days of grueling searches to find the human remains of Phillips and Pereira came to an end after their bodies were recovered in a remote area of ​​the Amazon jungle.

Phillips, 57, and Pereira, 41 were reported missing on June 5 when they failed to return at the end of a four-day trip to the Itaquaí River in Brazil’s far west.

Three men have already been arrested in connection with the deaths, including one who police say confessed to shooting the couple and directed officers to where the bodies could be found.

Researcher David Da Rocha told the Guardian that with the identification of the new suspects and the formal identification of the bodies, the investigation into the case is “90 percent complete” and that the expected arrests of the five would likely be the final step in the process.

Police hope they can all be charged with manslaughter and said they were related to the two brothers already in custody.

Federal police officers escort suspect Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira, alias “Pelado”, to board a boat to the site of a rescue mission in Atalaia do Nort

(Agencia Publica/AFP via Getty Im)

Amarildo Oliveira, known as Pelado, and his brother Oseney de Oliveira, known as Dos Santos, were arrested by police for their alleged involvement in the murders.

A third suspect named Jeferson da Silva Lima, also known as Pelado da Dinha, was arrested Saturday after surrendering himself at a police station in the city of Atalaia do Norte, police said.

Police have not released any details or the names of the five new suspects.

Police confirmed on Saturday that Phillips and Pereira had been shot at with hunting ammunition. While the British journalist was shot once, the Indigenous activist was shot three times.

They said the suspects had acted alone — a statement that appeared to be intended to draw a line under the case, despite suspicions that the murders may have been ordered by a criminal group or parties with vested interests angry at Phillips’ investigation. to illegal logging in the Amazon.

Dom Phillips in Rio de Jenario

(AP)

The bodies were found in an area known as Lago do Preguiça, reached from the nearest town Atalaia do Norte via a 1 hour 40 minute journey by boat along the river and a further 1.9 miles on foot into dense forest. .

Mr Amarildo is the suspect who, police say, led officers to where the bodies were buried.

Phillips collaborated with Pereira on research for a book titled How to save the Amazon?

The deaths have highlighted growing dangers to those defending or defending Brazil’s indigenous communities, who are threatened by illegal fishing, mining, logging and drug trafficking.

There is a long history of violent conflict between criminal groups, government officials and indigenous peoples documented by the duo before their assassination.