The Brazilian Federal Police reported having found traces of “apparently human” material in an area where the British journalist and the Brazilian indigenista disappeared last Sunday.
“The search teams located in the river, near the port of Atalaia do Norte, apparently human organic material,” which will be subjected to expertise, the Federal Police (PF), spokesperson for the searches carried out together with the Federal Police, said in a statement. the Armed Forces and local teams.
The investigators, reported the Ansa news agency, found this material near the port of the Atalaia do Norte municipality, on the Itaquaí River, and the sample will be sent to the National Criminalistics Institute for “expert analysis,” the authorities said.
On the other hand, the local security forces did not specify whether what was found was in the same place where the firefighters were investigating signs of excavations, on the banks of the Itaquaí River, where the disappeared were moving, who were there for an investigation and the production of a book.
“The story we have is disturbed earth, as if it had been excavated on the spotburied something, thrown mud at the bottom,” said the second lieutenant of the Fire Department, Geonivan Maciel.
“We cannot say that there is any concrete trace, but we are going to verify the situation to see if there really is anything that can identify something of the two disappeared,” he added.
Dom Phillips, a journalist for The Guardian newspaper, and Bruno Araújo Pereira, an expert on indigenous communities, disappeared on Sunday while sailing towards Atalaia do Norte, in the northwestern Amazon, near the borders with Peru and Colombia.
They were last seen on Sunday morning, in the Sao Gabriel community, not far from their destination.
The police also reported that they will compare the traces of blood found on Thursday in the boat of the only one detained so far in the case with the genetic material of the disappeared.
Witnesses reported seeing fisherman Amarildo Oliveira, 41, pass by in a speeding boat in the same direction as Phillips and Pereira after they were last seen. Police say the man was arrested carrying illegal caliber ammunition and drugs.
The Federal Police admitted on Wednesday that it does not rule out “any line of investigation”, including that of the homicide, in a region considered “dangerous”.
According to local indigenous activists, Pereira suffered frequent threats for his fight against invasions on indigenous lands.
Bolsonaro referred to the journalist who disappeared in Amazonas
The Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, affirmed that his government is “untiringly” searching for the British journalist Dom Phillips, who disappeared in the Amazon, when he delivered a speech before the Summit of the Americas, in Los Angeles, where he met with the US president, Joe Biden, reported Ansa.
The president, who is criticized for having delayed the start of the search and investigation, retorted by stating that “since last Sunday when we received information that they disappeared, our Armed Forces and the Federal Police have stood out for their tireless search for those people”.
“We pray to God that they are found alive”he assured added.
For its part, the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (STF) and the UN asked the Bolsonarista administration to strengthen measures to locate them.
The judge, Roberto Barroso, of the STF asked the government this Friday to adopt all the necessary measures to find the whereabouts of Phillps and Araújo Pereira.
The magistrate determined that the government present within five days a report on the measures implemented and the information collected on the case.