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Saturday, July 2, 2022

Brazil police arrest second suspect in Amazon missing pair

Brazil’s federal police said on Tuesday they had arrested a second suspect in connection with the disappearance of an indigenous expert and a British journalist in a remote region of the Amazon.

The suspect, Oceni da Costa de Oliveira, 41, is a fisherman and is the brother of the man whom police have so far considered as the prime suspect in the case, Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira, also 41, nicknamed Pellado.

Federal police also said in a statement that they confiscated ammunition and a paddle, but did not say why the items were confiscated, who they belonged to, or where they were found.

De Oliveira told the Associated Press on Friday that he had visited Pellado in prison and was told that Pelado was tortured by local police on his boat, which was also confiscated by officers.

Federal police did not immediately respond to a request from the Associated Press asking why Oceni da Costa de Oliveira was named in her statement, which is not a standard procedure for force majeure.

Indigenous people living with expert Bruno Pereira and British journalist Dom Phillips say Pellado fired a rifle at the two men the day before they went missing.

Her family told the Associated Press that she denied any wrongdoing and claimed that the police tortured her to try to confess.

The search for the missing people continued on Tuesday after a bag, laptop and other personal belongings were submerged in the river on Sunday.

Pereira, 41, and Phillips, 57, were last seen on June 5 near the entrance to the Javari Valley indigenous region, which borders Peru and Colombia.

Federal police issued a statement on Monday denying media reports that the bodies of the two men had been found.

Search teams are focusing their efforts around a spot in the Itacai River near the town of Atalia do Norte, where volunteers from the Matisse indigenous group say they found a tarp from a boat used by the missing on Saturday.

There are seven known indigenous groups in the Javari Valley – some have recently contacted, such as the Matisse. There are also at least 11 non-contact groups in the valley, making the region the largest center of isolated tribes in the world.

There have been violent conflicts between fishermen, poachers and government agents in that area. Violence has escalated as drug trafficking gangs fight for control of waterways to ship cocaine, although the Itakai River is not a known drug trafficking route.

This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

World Nation News Desk
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