“We are concerned about the continued lack of information on the whereabouts and wellbeing of British journalist Dom Phillips and indigenous rights defender Bruno Araújo Pereira in the Javari Valley, a remote area in western Amazon of Brazil, neighbouring Peru and Colombia. Our regional office for South America is monitoring the situation closely,” said the spokesperson.
Pereira and Phillips have been missing since Sunday 5 June, when they were last seen travelling in a boat on the Itaquaí river, reportedly to conduct interviews with indigenous communities.
“Javari Valley in the Amazon is the second biggest indigenous territory in Brazil, and it is believed to have one of the world’s highest concentrations of uncontacted indigenous tribes. The area is also seriously affected by illegal trafficking, mining, and fishing, and it is reportedly suffering from increased activities of armed groups,” Shamdasani added.
Phillips and Pereira have played important roles in raising awareness and defending the human rights of the indigenous peoples in the area, including by monitoring and reporting illegal activities in the Javari Valley. Pereira had reportedly received threats related to his work in defence of indigenous peoples and the environment.
“We urge Brazilian authorities to redouble their efforts to find Phillips and Pereira, with time of the essence in view of the real risks to their rights to life and security. It is therefore crucial that authorities at the federal and local levels react robustly and expeditiously, including by fully deploying available means and necessary specialized resources to effectively search over the remote area in question,” she said.
“We also commend civil society groups who have been coordinating efforts to locate the two men, including by sending search-and-rescue missions to the area,” Shamdasani added.
In conclusion the spokesperson said “we stress our concern as to the wider context of constant attacks and harassment faced by human rights defenders, environmentalists, and journalists in Brazil. The authorities have the responsibility to protect their role and ensure that they can exercise their rights, including their rights to freedom of expression and association, free from attacks or threats.”
For more information and media requests, please contact for more information and media requests, please contact: Ravina Shamdasani - + 41 22 917 9169 / email@example.com or Jeremy Laurence + 41 22 917 9383 / firstname.lastname@example.org or Marta Hurtado - + 41 22 917 9466 / email@example.com