Suspect admits murder of missing journalist and indigenous defender in Brazil

A suspect held in the disappearance of a British journalist and indigenous affairs expert missing in Brazil has confessed to their murder, CNN reported Wednesday.

During a press conference on Wednesday evening, Brazilian authorities announced that local fisherman Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira admitted to killing international correspondent Dom Phillips and Brazilian researcher Bruno Araújo Pereira. The pair had been missing since June 5 after they were last spotted near Sao Rafael, a community in northeast Brazil.

The suspect reportedly confessed to the murder on Tuesday evening and took police to the scene of the bodies in a remote part of the Amazon on Wednesday.

A second suspect has also been arrested for the men’s disappearance, according to CNN.

Phillips, who was writing a book on Amazon rainforest conservation, and Pereira, who had previously been threatened by illegal poachers of fish and wildlife, both reportedly received death threats in the days leading up to their disappearance .

The men’s disappearance has made international headlines, with journalists and human rights organizations pressuring Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to locate the duo.

“We are now very concerned by reports from Brazil that search and rescue efforts have so far been minimally resourced, with national authorities slow to offer more than very limited assistance,” a coalition wrote. media professionals in a letter to Bolsonaro last week.

They added: “We ask that you urgently intensify and provide full efforts to locate Dom and Bruno, and that you provide all possible support to their families and friends.”

The results of forensic examinations are still pending to confirm that the bodies are those of Phillips and Pereira, ABC News noted.