Brazilian officials found a boat used by slain British journalist Dom Phillips and local Indigenous expert Bruno Pereira as police officers in the case made five more arrests.
The speedboat, found on Sunday, was used by the two men to travel through the Amazon rainforest before they disappeared, police said.
It was discovered about 65 feet below the Itacoai River with the help of six sandbags.
Police said the third suspect in the murders, Jeferson da Silva Lima, led them to the boat’s discovery.
The suspect – nicknamed “Pelado da Dinha” in his community – turned himself in to police on Saturday.
The following day, police said five other suspects helped hide the bodies of the two men.
Officials did not name the new suspects and said the ongoing investigation is aimed at “establishing all circumstances, motives and those involved in the case.”
The investigation drew global attention after the world’s most famous celebrities, lawmakers and sports stars called for more to be done to find the missing men.
Actor Mark Ruffalo, soccer legend Pelé and US President Biden are among the notable names who have urged the Brazilian government to step up search efforts.
The “Shutter Island” actor took to Twitter as he called for an “international response,” stressing the worrying number of journalists who have been “attacked, killed or disappeared,” he initially said tweeted.
After Ruffalo heard about the recent developments of the remains of the two men tweeted, “These developments are appalling. We must protect journalists from dangers and threats against their honorable work.”
Soccer superstar Pelé said he was “moved” by the disappearances of Phillips and Pereira earlier this month, urging those responsible to step up search efforts.
Phillips, 57, and Pereira were last seen on June 5 on their boat on the Itaquai River near the entrance to the Javari Valley indigenous territory along the Peru-Colombia border. The case quickly attracted international attention.
According to the police, both were shot with hunting ammunition.
Suspect Amarildo da Costa Oliveira, a fisherman who police say has confessed to killing the two victims, his brother Oseney da Costa and a third man, Jeferson da Silva Lima, have been arrested.
Police said Amarildo, whose nickname is Pelado, confessed to shooting and killing both men on June 14. He then led authorities to the area where remains were found.
The men’s bodies were discovered in a region where violent clashes have broken out between fishermen, poachers and government agents.
UNIVAJA, the local indigenous association Pereira worked for, said the government failed to take into account that the men may have been targeted by a criminal organization that funded illegal fishing and poaching in the Javari Valley indigenous territory.
“Because of this, Bruno Pereira became one of the main targets of this criminal group, along with other UNIVAJA members who received death threats,” the statement said.
The Post reached out to UNIVAJA for further comment.
With postal wires
https://nypost.com/2022/06/21/brazil-police-find-boat-of-slain-british-journalist-dom-phillips-five-more-arrested/ The Brazilian police find the boat of the killed British journalist Dom Phillips, five others were arrested