Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira: Police deny bodies found of missing Amazon pair

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Bruno Pereira (l) and Dom Phillips (r) pictured in 2018

Brazilian police have denied local reports that the bodies had been found of a journalist and indigenous expert missing in the Amazon.

Brazilian media reported on Monday that bodies were found in the search for Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira.

Police say that so far they had discovered personal items belonging to the pair as well as “biological material” still being examined.

The two men have been missing since 5 June.

The region’s indigenous association Univaja, which first alerted authorities that the pair was missing, told the BBC that no bodies have been found.

Local groups say both men had received threats for their work supporting indigenous rights in the region, where they were travelling by boat on a reporting trip.

Both Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira were known for their deep knowledge of the region.

Mr Phillips had been living in Brazil for more than a decade and was a long-time contributor to the Guardian newspaper – he was in the area researching a book.

Mr Pereira, who was on leave from his post with the government’s indigenous affairs agency Funai, was an expert on isolated tribes in the Amazon.

Days before the pair went missing indigenous groups say Mr Pereira had been threatened for campaigning against illegal fishing in the area.

The region where they disappeared is home to around 6,300 indigenous people from more than 20 groups.

As well as clashes with fishermen catching protected stock, it has also seen incursions by illegal gold miners, loggers and drug traffickers who smuggle cocaine from neighbouring Peru.

Alarm over the men’s disappearance was initially sounded by two indigenous rights groups, who said the pair had been travelling by boat in the Javari Valley to interview members of an indigenous guard.

The area is located in the west of Amazonas state, near the border with Peru.

Watch: Family and friends of Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira want answers about their disappearance

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