Wednesday, June 22 at 7:30 p.m. GMT:
The murders of Brazilian indigenous expert Bruno Pereira and British journalist Dom Phillips have drawn worldwide attention to the deadly threats faced by those seeking to shed light on illegal activities in the Brazilian Amazon.
According to Brazilian police, the bodies of Pereira and Phillips were found in a remote part of the Amazon on June 15. Police said a fisherman confessed to killing the two men, who were researching illegal fishing in the area.
Phillips and Pereira were last seen on June 5 near the Javari Valley indigenous territory that borders Peru and Colombia. Phillips was working on a book called “How to Save the Amazon”. Pereira, a former government official with Brazil’s indigenous agency FUNAI, investigated illegal fishing by non-indigenous people and had previously been involved in several operations to stop similar activities.
In 2020, Brazil ranked fourth in the world for documented killings of environmental activists, according to Global Witness.
Although the Brazilian government prohibits extractive activities on protected indigenous lands, the Amazon and the tribes residing there continue to suffer from illegal fishing, mining, logging and drug trafficking. Environmental activists have criticized pro-development President Jair Bolsonaro for failing to effectively enforce the law and creating a culture of impunity for indigenous land rights.
In this episode of The Stream, we will examine the dangers faced by those who defend indigenous and environmental rights in Brazil.
In this episode of The Stream, we speak with:
Andrew Fishman, @AndrewDFish
Journalist, The Interception
Ana Carolina Alfinito
Legal Advisor, Amazon Watch Brazil
Karla Mendes, @karlamendes
Contributing Editor, Mongabay