Belongings of missing men found tied underwater in Amazon

Belongings of missing men found tied underwater in Amazon

Belongings of missing men found tied underwater in Amazon

ATALAIA DO NORTE, Brazil – Brazil’s research of an indigenous expert and a journalist who disappeared in a reluctant area of ​​the Amazon advanced a week ago with the discovery of a backpack, a laptop, and d. ‘Other personal effects of men overwhelmed in a river.

The articles were found on Sunday afternoon and were transported by federal police by boat to Atalaia Do Norte, the city closest to the search. In a statement on Sunday evening, police said they identified the articles as the property of the two missing men, including a health card and clothes by Bruno Pereira, the Brazilian Aboriginal expert.

The backpack, identified as belonging to the independent journalist Dom Phillips in Great Britain, was found linked to a tree that was half overwhelmed, a firefighter told journalists at Atalaia Do Norte. It is the end of the rainy season in the region, and part of the forest is flooded.

Development occurred one day after the police said they found traces of blood in the boat of a fisherman who is in a state of arrest as the only suspect in the disappearance. The officers also found an organic question of apparently human origin in the river. The materials are analyzed.

The research teams who found the laptop and other articles on Sunday had concentrated their efforts around a place in the Itaquai river where a tarpaulin of the boat used by the missing men was found on Saturday by volunteers from the native group Matis.

“We used a small canoe to go to shallow water. Then we found a tarpaulin, shorts, and a spoon, “said one of the volunteers, Binin Beshu Matis, at the Associated Press.

Pereira, 41, and Phillips, 57, were seen for the last time on June 5 near the entrance to the native territory of the Javari Valley, which borders Peru and Colombia. They returned alone by boat to the Itaquai in Atalaia Do Norte but never arrived.

This area has experienced violent conflicts between fishers, poachers, and government agents. Violence has developed while drug trafficking gangs are fighting to control navigable channels to send cocaine, although itaquai is not a known path of drug trafficking.

The authorities said that the main line of the police investigation under the disappearance highlighted an international network that pays poor fishers to illegally fish in the Javari valley reserve, the second-largest Aboriginal territory in Brazil.

One of the most precious targets is the largest freshwater fish in the world with scales, Arapaima. It weighs 200 kilograms (440 pounds) and can reach 3 meters (10 feet). Fish is sold in neighboring cities, notably Leticia, Colombia, Tabatingu, Brazil, and Iquitos, Peru.

The only suspect known in the disappearances is the fisherman Amariro Da Costa of Oliveira, also known as Pelado, who is in a state of arrest. According to accounts of the indigenous peoples with Pereira and Phillips, he brandished a rifle on them the day before the couple’s disappearance.

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The suspect denies any reprehensible act and said that the military police had tortured him to try to confess, his family told the Associated Press.

Belongings of missing men found tied underwater in Amazon

Pereira, who previously directed the local office of the Aboriginal agency of the Brazilian government, known as Funai, participated in several operations against illegal fishing. In such operations, as a rule, the fishing equipment is seized or destroyed, while fishers are sentenced to a fine and briefly detained. Only natives can legally fish in their territories.

“The reason for the crime is a personal quarrel about the fishing inspection,” speculated the mayor of Atalaia, Denis Paiva, to journalists without providing more details.

AD had access to the information that the police shared with indigenous leadership. But while some police officers, the mayor, and others in the region connect the couple’s disappearances to the “fish mafia,” the federal police have not excluded other survey lines, such as traffic from Narco.

Fisherman Laurimar Alves Lopes, who lives on the banks of Itaquai, told AP that he had abandoned fishing inside the indigenous territory after being held three times. He said he had endured beating and famine in prison.

Lopes, who has five children, said that he only fishes near his home to feed his family, not the sale.

“I made many mistakes, and I stole a lot of fish. When you see your child starving, you will get him where you need. So I was going to fly fish to be able to support my family. But then, I said: I will end this, I will plant, “he said during an interview on his boat.

Lopes said he was taken to the local federal police headquarters in Tabatingu three times, accused of being beaten and left without food.

In 2019, the manager of Funai, Maxciel Pereira Dos Santos, was shot in Tabatingu in front of his wife and daughter-in-law. Three years later, the crime remains unresolved. His colleague Funai told AP they thought murder was linked to his work against fishers and poachers.

Rubber tappers have founded all the region’s river banking communities. In the 1980s, however, the rubber tapping decreased, and they used logging. This also ended when the federal government created the indigenous territory of the Javari Valley in 2001. Fishing has become the main economic activity since then.

An illegal fishing trip in the vast Javari valley lasts about a month, said Manoel Felipe, a local and teacher historian who was also a municipal councilor. For each illegal foray, an angler can earn at least $3,000.

“Fishermen’s financiers are Colombians,” said Felipe. “In Leticia, everyone was angry with Bruno. It is not a little game. It may have sent a shooter to kill him.”


Belongings of missing men found tied underwater in Amazon