Alessandra Sampaio, widow of Dom Phillips, blamed the murder on the previous government of former President Jair Bolsonaro.
Brazil honors Bruno Pereira and Dom Phillips one year after their assassination in the Brazilian Amazon. Relatives and friends of Bruno Pereira, an environmentalist and indigenous activist, and Dom Phillips, a British journalist, held a commemorative event in Rio de Janeiro on Monday for the first anniversary of their deaths. Visibly moved, Alessandra Sampaio, widow of Dom Phillips, blamed the murder on the previous government of former President Jair Bolsonaro.
“He (Dom Phillips) was taken from my family, from my friends, you know? Out of greed, out of a deliberate lack of regulation by the previous government. I’m very angry. I try not to focus on that. I try to go ahead and do what possible, using the name of Dom in favor of conservation,” Sampaio told attendees at the event.
Phillips and Pereira were killed in the Javarí Valley by a group of poachers. This area of the Brazilian jungle the size of Panama is the region in the world where the most uncontacted indigenous communities live; besides being a place where drug trafficking and organized crime reign.
To this day, three people remain detained for the events: the Colombian citizen Rubens Villar, who apparently was the one who ordered the murder; the fisherman Amarildo da Costa Oliveira, who confessed to the murders; and the fisherman Jânio Freitas de Souza, who allegedly helped hide the bodies.
Activists in the area and relatives of the victims regret that things have barely changed since the terrible crime
One year after the murders, the situation in the Amazon has hardly changed and the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies has withdrawn powers from the Ministries of Indigenous Peoples and the Environment.