The Brazilian police have launched a criminal investigation into the disappearance of British journalist Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira, an expert on original inhabitants in the Amazon. Four witnesses who saw the two just before their disappearance have since been heard.
Phillips and Pereira went missing on Sunday in the Javario region of the Brazilian Amazon, a remote area of the rainforest near the border with Peru. The pair were last seen getting on a boat that would take them across the Itaqui River to Atalaia do Norte, a town of about 14,000 residents.
They should have been in town three hours after they left. But when they still hadn’t arrived eight hours later, the Univaja sounded the alarm. That is an umbrella organization of original inhabitants of the rainforest.
‘Every minute counts’
The Navy then sent rescuers to the area where the men were last seen. The regional police and the national guard have also been mobilized. Residents of the area and environmental activists have launched local searches of their own.
Pereira’s family calls on the Brazilian authorities to use all means as soon as possible to find the two. “Every minute counts,” the family said.