Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Dear Common Dreams Readers:
Corporations and billionaires have their own media. Shouldn't we? When you “follow the money” that funds our independent journalism, it all leads back to this: people like you. Our supporters are what allows us to produce journalism in the public interest that is beholden only to people, our planet, and the common good. Please support our Mid-Year Campaign so that we always have a newsroom for the people that is funded by the people. Thank you for your support. --Jon Queally, managing editor

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

supporters of dominic phillips and bruno pereira

Supporters of Dom Phillips and Bruno Araujo Pereira, a British journalist and an Indigenous affairs official who are missing in the Amazon, held a vigil outside the Brazilian Embassy in London on June 9, 2022. (Photo: Victoria Jones/PA Images via Getty Images)

Police and Indigenous Group Deny Bodies Found in Search for Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira

The reporting sparked new demands for an independent investigation into the disappearance of the journalist and Indigenous expert.

Jessica Corbett

This is a developing story… Please check back for possible updates...

Brazilian police and a local Indigenous association are denying reporting Monday that a pair of bodies were found in the Amazon in the search for Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira.

"A full and transparent investigation is urgently needed."

Phillips, a longtime contributor to The Guardian, and Pereira, an Indigenous expert, were last seen over a week ago in the Javari region of the Brazilian state Amazonas. Their disappearance has alarmed human rights and press freedom defenders around the world.

News of the alleged discovery of unidentified bodies "was first reported by the Brazilian news outlet G1, citing Mr. Phillips' wife," according to the Independent, which added that the claim was denied by both a federal police statement and a spokesperson for local indigenous association UNIVAJA, which has been involved with the search.

"I've spoken with the team in the field and it's not true," said UNIVAJA lawyer Eliesio Marubo.

The Guardian shared the police statement, which said that "the information being shared that the bodies or Mr. Bruno Pereira and Mr. Dom Phillips have been found are without merit."

"As was previously stated, biological materials and personal belongings of the missing men were found and are being examined," the police statement continued, referencing items found on Saturday in an area of flooded forest by an Indigenous search team. "As soon as any finds are made the family, and the media will be immediately informed."

The newspaper noted that the Phillips' family said that the claim about the bodies came during a call with an aide to the Brazilian ambassador to the United Kingdom:

"He said he wanted us to know that… they had found two bodies," said Paul Sherwood, Phillips's brother-in-law. "He didn't describe the location and just said it was in the rainforest and he said they were tied to a tree and they hadn't been identified yet."

Sherwood added: "He said that when it was light, or when it was possible they would do an identification."

Phillips' sister told the BBC it is an "incredibly distressing and awful situation," and that "I think it's likely they've been ambushed by some illegal criminal activity there, possibly to do with illegal fishing."

Pereira had recently faced threats from people involved with illegal fishing in the region.

Monday's reporting led to new calls for an independent investigation into the case.

PEN International tweeted Monday that "we urge the authorities to carry out a prompt, thorough, impartial, independent and transparent investigation into the disappearance of journalist Dom Phillips and Indigenous expert Bruno Pereira and hold those responsible to account."

The U.S.-based Freedom of the Press Foundation similarly said that "a full and transparent investigation is urgently needed" and "it is vital those responsible are held accountable."

Others expressed support for the loved ones of the missing men.

"We are shocked and horrified," said Rainforest Foundation Norway. "Our thoughts are with their families."

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

"I'm sure this will be all over the corporate media, right?"
That’s what one longtime Common Dreams reader said yesterday after the newsroom reported on new research showing how corporate price gouging surged to a nearly 70-year high in 2021. While major broadcasters, newspapers, and other outlets continue to carry water for their corporate advertisers when they report on issues like inflation, economic inequality, and the climate emergency, our independence empowers us to provide you stories and perspectives that powerful interests don’t want you to have. But this independence is only possible because of support from readers like you. You make the difference. If our support dries up, so will we. Our crucial Mid-Year Campaign is now underway and we are in emergency mode to make sure we raise the necessary funds so that every day we can bring you the stories that corporate, for-profit outlets ignore and neglect. Please, if you can, support Common Dreams today.


'Infuriating': Biden Rebuked for Continued Opposition to Supreme Court Expansion

"What does Biden 'agree' with doing?" Mehdi Hasan asked. "What does the leader of this country want to do to stop the increasingly fascistic assault on our democratic institutions and basic rights?"

Kenny Stancil ·

'We Need Action': Biden, Democrats Urged to Protect Abortion Access in Post-Roe US

"The Supreme Court doesn't get the final say on abortion," Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Tina Smith wrote in a new op-ed.

Kenny Stancil ·

Motorist 'Tried to Murder' Abortion Rights Advocates at Iowa Protest, Witnesses Say

Although one witness said the driver went "out of his way" to hit pro-choice protestors in the street, Cedar Rapids police declined to make an arrest.

Kenny Stancil ·

'A Hate Crime': Oslo Pride Parade Canceled After Deadly Shooting at Gay Bar

A 42-year-old gunman has been charged with terrorism following what Norway's prime minister called a "terrible and deeply shocking attack on innocent people."

Kenny Stancil ·

'We WILL Fight Back': Outrage, Resolve as Protests Erupt Against SCOTUS Abortion Ruling

Demonstrators took to the streets Friday to defiantly denounce the Supreme Court's right-wing supermajority after it rescinded a constitutional right for the first time in U.S. history.

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo