Dom Phillips: belongings of missing British journalist and companion found by divers in Brazil | world news

Divers searching for a missing British journalist and his colleague have found a backpack, laptop and other personal items belonging to the couple in a remote part of the Amazon.

Journalist Dom Phillips, 57, and Indigenous expert Bruno Pereira, 41, were last seen on June 5th near the indigenous area of ​​the Javari Valley, in western Brazil, near the border of Peru and Colombia.

The two men were in the community of Sao Rafael and returned by boat to the nearby town of Atalaia do Norte, but they never arrived.

Local volunteers, the military, civil defense officials and the state police searched for them and Police have launched a criminal investigation

The backpack was tied to a tree that was half submerged as it is high water season in the region. That and the laptop were collected by the police and taken to Atalaia do Norte by boat.

A police statement said clothing belonging to Mr Pereira had been found, including a health identification card in his name, a backpack containing Mr Phillips’ clothing, and the boots of both men.

Police have already found traces of blood in the boat of a fisherman, Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira, also known as Pelado, who has been arrested and remains the only suspect so far.

According to the natives who were with them, the day before they disappeared, Mr. da Costa de Oliveira pointed a gun at Mr. Phillips and Mr. Pereira.

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

Dom Philips

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On Saturday, police reported finding traces of blood in Mr da Costa de Oliveira’s boat and organic material of apparently human origin in the river.

Both materials are forensically analyzed.

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.

The area where Mr Phillips and Mr Pereira are missing has been the scene of previous violent clashes between fishermen, poachers and the government.

There has also been some violence as gangs compete for control of the waterways to transport cocaine.