Brazil’s federal police have arrested a second suspect in the disappearance of a British journalist and an indigenous expert in a remote area of the Amazon rainforest.
The second suspect, 41-year-old Oceni da Costa de Oliveira, is the brother of Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira, who is considered the prime suspect in the case.
Missing British journalists Dom Phillips, regular contributor to the Guardian and the Washington Post, and Bruno Pereira were last seen on June 5 by boat as they sailed through a chaotic region of the Amazon rainforest.
On Tuesday, police seized ammunition and a paddle in the village of So Gabriel, where two people were last seen. Police did not say why the items were confiscated, to whom they belonged or where they were found.
Prior to his arrest, Oceni da Costa de Oliveira claimed that the police were torturing his brother Amarildo – known locally as “Pelado” – to attempt to force him to confess. . His brother was arrested and taken into custody on Friday.
The search for the missing was due to end on Tuesday, as the area left to search narrowed at the end of the day, according to Alicio Marubo, a lawyer for the indigenous group, UNIVAJA.
Marubo said indigenous searchers reported to authorities after finding traces of men in the area, which helped focus the search.
“We understand that we are moving towards the end. The search area has been further narrowed,” he said.
On Monday, search teams made up of the Army, Navy, Federal Police, Civil Defense, firefighters and military police found a backpack, laptop and other personal belongings submerged in the river.
The items were taken by boat by federal authorities to Atalia do Norte, the city closest to the discovery where the investigation is underway.
After analyzing the items, police confirmed that they belonged to the missing people, including Pereira’s health card and clothing.
Police said the backpack – which was found tied to a tree on the banks of a river – belonged to Phillips.
In last week’s developments, police found traces of blood on a boat belonging to the prime suspect.
The investigation has garnered global attention, with the world’s most famous personalities, lawmakers and sports stars calling for more to be done to find the missing.
Actor Mark Ruffalo, football legend Pele and US President Biden are among notable names who have urged the Brazilian government to step up search efforts.
post with wires