Journal De Bruxelles - Family of UK man missing in Amazon call for deeper search

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Family of UK man missing in Amazon call for deeper search

Family of UK man missing in Amazon call for deeper search

The family of a British journalist missing in the Amazon urged British and Brazilian authorities in London on Thursday to step up their efforts to find him.

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Dom Phillips, 57, a regular contributor to The Guardian, and Bruno Pereira, 41, a specialist in indigenous peoples, were reported missing on Sunday after they ventured into the middle of the Amazon rainforest.

"Where is Dom Phillips? Where is Bruno Pereira?" asked the journalist's sister, Sian Phillips, in a statement to the media during a gathering of around 30 people in front of Brazil's embassy in London.

"We want the UK authorities to put pressure on the Brazilian government," she added, before she and other family members were received by the ambassador.

"We want to carry on with the search. We want to find out what is happening to them and we want anyone responsible for any criminal act to be brought to justice. We want a persistent deep and open investigation," she added.

She blamed the Brazilian authorities for delaying the search but said they "all have hope" that the pair will be found.

"He is a great writer and journalist. He is a caring man. He cares about the environment. He loves Brazil," Phillips said of her brother.

"He's a great guy and we love him with all our heart".

The Brazilian authorities said they are hopeful of finding the men alive but do not exclude any outcome, including that of homicide, in a region where trafficking is rife.

High-profile personalities and environmental and human rights groups have rallied to the cause, urging President Jair Bolsonaro to step up the search.

"We've been assured that everything has been done that can be done," Paul Sherwood, Phillips' brother-in-law, told AFP.

Phillips and Pereira pair went missing in the Javari Valley in Amazonas state, located in the west of the Amazon basin, near Peru.

The remote region is experiencing an escalation in armed violence due to the presence of miners, gold diggers, poachers and drug traffickers.

W.Lejeune--JdB