What happened to the British journalist missing in the Amazon and his companion? What the Brazilian President says makes all hopes sink.

The fate of British journalists and an indigenous expert missing in the Amazon is uncertain. According to the media, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said: “There are indications that terrible things were done to the missing.”

According to the media, personal belongings of the two were found a good week after the disappearance. There were conflicting reports on Monday that the bodies of the missing people had been found.

Personal items

Firefighters are said to have discovered, among other things, the health insurance card of Brazilian expert Bruno Pereira in the water in a flooded area on the Itaquaí River. This was reported by the “G1” portal, citing the police. A backpack belonging to journalist Dom Phillips and clothing and shoes from both men were also found.

In the vicinity of the site, near the borders with Colombia and Peru, a boat belonging to a suspect who had already been arrested was reportedly discovered. The items, including a laptop, were tied to a tree, Brazilian media reported, citing a fire department spokesman. In the course of the investigation, diving will continue in the area.

Phillips and Pereira did not arrive by boat on June 5 as planned in the city of Atalaia do Norte in far western Brazil, according to a regional aboriginal organization. Pereira had previously reported to the police that he had been threatened several times.

Criticism of the search efforts

Indigenous people, family members, friends and colleagues have expressed concern that the search for the two missing people has been slow and not being pursued with enough determination. The UN human rights office called on the Brazilian authorities to step up efforts.

Phillips has lived in Brazil for 15 years and has worked for the British newspaper The Guardian, among other things. He had previously traveled with Pereira, who also worked for the indigenous authority in the region, in the difficult-to-access Javari Valley, where they were now being searched for. Most recently, the 57-year-old researched a book about protecting the Amazon region.

For example, while the Brazilian news portal “G1”, citing the reporter’s wife, reported that the bodies of the two men had been found, the federal police and the umbrella organization of the indigenous people denied the relevant information.

According to a report by the British newspaper The Guardian, an employee of the Brazilian ambassador in London told Phillips’ family on Monday that two bodies that could be those of the missing persons had been found. “He didn’t describe the location and just said it was in the rainforest and they were tied to a tree and hadn’t been identified,” the Guardian quoted Paul Sherwood, Phillips’ brother-in-law.