June 10, 2022 — The Society of Environmental Journalists joins journalism organizations and many other individuals and groups in calling for Brazilian authorities to redouble their search for British freelance journalist Dom Phillips and Brazilian Indigenous activist Bruno Pereira, with whom Phillips was traveling on an assignment.
|Photo: Dom Phillips, courtesy of APF|
They have been missing since early June 5 from a remote area in the western part of Brazil’s Amazonas state. They had reportedly received death threats shortly before their disappearance.
Phillips is a 2021 Alicia Patterson Foundation Fellow who has been a contributor to The Guardian and The Washington Post. His work has focused on the Amazon, and APF said he was conducting research for a book project there. He traveled to Amazonas with Pereira, who according to APF is a staffer on leave from the Brazilian Indigenous National Foundation.
CNN has reported that Brazilian authorities say they have detained a suspect on whose boat blood was found and have questioned five other people about the pair’s whereabouts.
“All rainforests can be dangerous,” said Jonathan Watts, the global environment editor for The Guardian and chair of the Amazon Advisory Committee of the Pulitzer Center’s Rainforest Journalism Fund. “But the Brazilian Amazon has become riskier for environmental guardians and reporters in recent years as criminal activity becomes more commonplace and tolerated by the central government and many local authorities.”
Brazil was ranked eighth on the Committee to Protect Journalists’ most recent Global Impunity Index, which identifies countries where members of the press are singled out for murder and the perpetrators go free.
- "Family, Friends Mourn British Journalist Killed in Brazil," AP News, June 26, 2022, by Fabiano Maisonnave.
- "Dom Phillips' Alleged Murder Highlights Dangers of Environmental Journalism," NBC News, June 19, 2022, by Eric Freedman, director of the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism at Michigan State University (with quotes from SEJ executive director Meaghan Parker).
- "Brazil Police Identify Five More People Linked to Killings of Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira," The Guardian, June 19, 2022, by Andrew Downie in São Paulo, Oliver Laughland and Roberto Kaz in Atalaia do Norte.
- "How the Final Journey of Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira Ended in Tragedy," The Guardian, June 17, 2022, by Tom Phillips in Atalaia do Norte.
- "Police Say Remains Found in Brazilian Amazon Belong to Dom Phillips," The Guardian, June 17, 2022, by Andrew Downie in São Paulo.
- "Brazil Police Find Remains in Search for UK Journalist, Suspect Confesses — Investigators," Reuters, June 16, 2022, by Jake Spring and Bruno Kelly.
- "Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira: Brazil Police Find Two Bodies in Search for Missing Men," The Guardian, June 16, 2022, by Andrew Downie in São Paulo and Tom Phillips in Atalaia do Norte.
- "The War on Journalists and Environmental Defenders in the Amazon Continues (commentary)," Mongabay, June 16, 2022, by Karla Mendes .
- "There Is a War on Nature. Dom Phillips Died Trying To Warn You About It," The Guardian, June 16, 2022, by Jonathan Watts (Guardian's global environment editor).
- "What Drove Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira To Risk Their Lives in the Amazon," CNN, June 16, 2022, by Rodrigo Pedroso and Camilo Rocha.
- Statement by Alessandra Sampaio, wife of Dom Phillips, June 15, 2022.
- More from The Guardian.