In mid-June, Indigenous expert Bruno Pereira and British journalist Dom Phillips were murdered for protecting the Amazon.
Bruno Pereira had defended Indigenous rights for a long time and previously worked for Funai, Brazil’s government Indigenous agency. Dom Phillips covered under-reported stories from marginalised groups, often taking on risky assignments over the 15 years he lived in Brazil.
They were last seen on Sunday 5 June travelling on the Itaquaí river in north-west Brazil. This region is known as a remote and lawless area. It has become a target for illegal trafficking, fishing and mining, and has a growing presence of armed gangs. According to reports, Bruno and Dom had received threats before their trip. Diplomats, NGOs and media organisations called on the Brazilian government to expand and speed up their search-and-rescue mission, as local reports suggested this was slow and inadequate in the crucial first few hours.
Brazil’s Federal Police confirmed overnight that Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira had been murdered.
The deaths of Bruno and Dom are not an accident
These heroes were murdered whilst doing vital work. They shined a light on the daily threats Indigenous Peoples in Brazil face as they defend their land and their rights, as anti-Indigenous policies are pushed by Brazil’s government.
President Bolsonaro’s words and actions are giving a greenlight to invade and destroy Indigenous Lands in the Amazon. Several bills are currently going through the Brazilian Congress that threaten Indigenous Lands and the basic rights of Indigenous Peoples in Brazil. What little protections remain for the forests and their peoples are rarely enforced. So illegal loggers, ranchers and miners know they can operate with few penalties – the only consequence might be their exposure in the press.
This has fostered an environment where “anything goes” and violence and intimidation are rife. Murders of Indigenous Peoples have increased by 61%, with 182 cases recorded in 2020. Meaning those who push for a greener, fairer and more peaceful world risk their lives to protect the Amazon.
For the safety of Indigenous lives and full recognition of Indigenous lands, for the protection of vital forests, for the future of our planet, we must demand action from our leaders here in the UK—it’s time for Boris Johnson to finally confront Bolsonaro.
Ask Boris Johnson to demand justice for Bruno and Dom
The greatest tribute we can pay Bruno and Dom is to continue their vital work until all of Brazil’s peoples and their forests are fully protected. Here in the UK, that starts with pushing Boris Johnson to stand up to Bolsonaro’s regime.
We need you to use your voice to call on Boris Johnson to stand up to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and the intolerable violence and repression he has enabled and encouraged in the Amazon, and condemn these murders in the highest possible terms.
Will you join thousands of others tweeting at Boris Johnson to demand justice for Bruno and Dom now?