Dom Phillips: Funeral held for Guardian journalist after murder in the Amazon rainforest | World News

The funeral of a British journalist murdered in the Amazon took place in Brazil.

Dom Phillips’ widow, Alessandro Sampaio, said he was being cremated at his “chosen home” during the ceremony in Rio de Janeiro.

Mr. Phillips, 57, and indigenous expert Bruno Pereira, 41, were in the rainforest so the journalist – who has worked for publications including The Guardian – could research his book.

The pair were last seen on their boat on the Itaquai River – near the entrance of the Javari Valley Indigenous Territory, which borders Peru and Colombia – on June 5, disappearing shortly after.

Their bodies have been found 10 days later.

Autopsies showed they were killed by a “typical shotgun with shotgun shells”.

Three fishermen from nearby communities were arrested and two have confessed to the murders, according to police.

Speaking at the funeral, Ms. Sampaio said: “First of all, I would like to express my eternal gratitude to the indigenous peoples, who have always been with us as faithful defenders of life, of the public. and our forests.

“Today, Dom will be cremated in Brazil, the country he loves, the homeland he has chosen. Today is a day of national mourning.”

There has been a protracted conflict in the area between indigenous tribes and poor fishermen hired to work illegally in the area.

Mr. Pereira, who works for Brazil’s indigenous affairs office, has fought against the intrusion of fishermen and has received numerous threats.

Alessandra Sampaio bursts into tears before speaking to the media at the funeral of her husband, British journalist Dom Phillips at Parque da Colina cemetery in Niteroi, Brazil, Sunday, June 26, 2022. Family and friends paid his last tribute to Phillips, who was killed in the Amazon Region along with Indigenous expert Bruno Pereira.  (AP Photo / Silvia Izquierdo)
Alessandra Sampaio

Mr Phillips’ sister, Sian, said: “He was killed trying to tell the world what was going on with the rainforest and its inhabitants.

“Dom understands the need to urgently change political and economic approaches to conservation. His family and friends are committed to continuing that work even in this tragic time. The story must be told.”

People attend the funeral of British journalist Dom Phillips murdered in the Amazon with indigenous expert Bruno Pereira, at a cemetery in Niteroi, near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil June 26, 2022. REUTERS / Pilar Olivares
People who visit the funeral

After living in Rio de Janeiro for a few years, Mr. Phillips and Mrs. Sampaio moved to the city of Salvador, where he taught English to poor students.

They are also in the process of adopting two children.

“As we remember Dom as a lovely, fun and cool brother,” said Mrs. Phillips, “we are saddened that he was denied the opportunity to share these qualities as a father. for the next generation”.

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