Statement from Greenpeace Brazil & Greenpeace UK on the murder of Bruno Pereira and Dom Phillips

by Katie Nelson

June 16, 2022

Bruno and Dom went missing June 5, 2022 in the Vale do Javari region of the Amazon rainforest

It is with great regret that we receive the terrible news of the cruel murder of Bruno Pereira and the English journalist Dom Phillips. The activists had been missing since Sunday, June 5, 2022 and were last seen in the region of Vale do Javari, in the Amazon. According to the Union of Indigenous Peoples of Vale do Javari (Univaja), they had received threats.

The deaths of Bruno and Dom are not an accident, but a direct result of the agenda of President Jair Bolsonaro for the Amazon, which opens the way for predatory activities and crimes to be reproduced in broad daylight.

The activists had been missing since Sunday 5th June and were last seen in the Vale do Javari region, when they were returning from a visit to the Indigenous Surveillance Team that is located near Lake Jaburu, according to a note released by the União dos Povos. Indigenous people of Vale do Javari (Univaja). According to reports, they had received threats.

This tragedy forces the question: what has Brazil become? In the last three years, our country has increasingly become a land where the only valid law is that of “anything goes”. It has become a land of invasion and land grabbing; of mining and illegal logging; of territorial conflicts, and where it’s worth killing to ensure that none of these criminal activities are prevented from happening. All this is fueled by the actions and omissions of the Brazilian government. When those who seek to advocate for a greener, fairer and more peaceful world have to put their lives on the line, there is no doubt that our young democracy is at risk and is balanced on a tightrope. 

“Abandonment and revolt. These are the feelings that devastate all of us that, from inside or outside the Amazon, have given our lives to the defense of this forest and its communities. Thanks to the actions and omissions of a government committed to the economy of destruction, we have become orphans of two great defenders of the Amazon and, at the same time, hostages of organized crime that is now sovereign in the region,” said Danicley de Aguiar, Greenpeace Brazil Amazon spokesperson. 

Over the past three years, forest peoples have experienced an appalling increase in violence in their territories, and within Congress, the situation is no different. While the world mourns the loss of Bruno Araújo, Dom Phillips and so many other people whose lives are destroyed daily in this crusade against the Amazon, bills that threaten Brazilian Indigenous Territories (ITs –, such as PL 191/ 2020, which opens up mining and other forms of economic exploitation within ITs – advance.

With each passing day, Bolsonaro’s agenda against the Amazon and the environment advances by leaps and bounds, and the rights of Indigenous peoples are permanently violated. How long will we accept a government that stands by in the face of such atrocity? 

Brazil is immersed in a context that borders on barbarism and this cannot continue. We repudiate such an act of violence and urgently demand the thorough and transparent investigation of this crime.

“Enough is enough. The world must wake up and take every step to bring the intolerable violence and repression happening in the Amazon to an end. The greatest tribute we can pay Dom and Bruno now is to continue their vital work until all of Brazil’s peoples and their forests are fully protected”, says Pat Venditti, executive director of Greenpeace UK, journalist Dom Phillips’ home country and that has been supporting the Greenpeace Brazil team in following up on the case.

To the family, friends, activists, Indigenous peoples and all people who advocate for the enforcement of human rights, we send our deepest condolences and solidarity.

– Greenpeace Brazil & Greenpeace UK

Katie Nelson

By Katie Nelson

Katie Nelson is a Senior Communications Specialist at Greenpeace USA.

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