Brazilian police reconstruct murder of British journalist and indigenous expert

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – A fisherman who has confessed to participating in the murder of British journalist Dom Phillips and Brazilian indigenous expert Bruno Pereira has taken part in a police reconstruction of the crime.

Broadcast footage shows police officers taking Amarildo da Costa Oliveira down the river where the murder took place and questioning him about what happened.

Costa said there had been an argument between Phillips and Pereira and Jeferson da Silva Lima, also a fisherman, who had clashed with Pereira over his efforts to combat illegal fishing.

Pereira fought back after being shot at, Costa said. He also described disposing of the bodies.

Phillips, a freelance reporter who had written for the Guardian and the Washington Post, was doing research for a book accompanied by Pereira, a former senior official at the federal indigenous affairs agency Funai.

They were reported missing on June 5 after traveling together by boat through the Javari Valley, a remote region bordering Peru and Colombia. According to police, both were shot with hunting ammunition.

The brutal crime shocked the world and the search for Phillips’ and Pereira’s bodies took several days to be concluded.

Three people have been arrested in connection with the murder and police have said there are five further suspects. The investigations by police are ongoing.

(Reporting by Leonardo Benassatto; Writing by Carolina Pulice and Peter Frontini; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

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