Widow of British journalist Dom Phillips weeps at cremation

Widow of British journalist Dom Phillips weeps at his cremation in Brazil – as police probe ‘ordered killing’ of reporter and aide in the Amazon

  • British journalist Dom Phillips and guide Bruno Pereira were killed in the Amazon
  • Now their families are demanding justice as Phillips’s funeral took place today
  • Guardian writer’s cremation took place today after Pereira was buried on Friday 
  • Pair went missing during investigation into mistreatment of Indigenous tribes 

The family of the British journalist murdered in the Amazon called for justice as his cremation took place today.

Guardian writer Dom Phillips, 57, was cremated at Parque da Colina cemetery in Niteroi, Brazil this afternoon, four weeks after he and indigenous expert guide Bruno Pereira, 41, vanished.

Phillips’s widow Alessandra Sampaio was pictured embracing Dom’s sister SIan at the cemetery today.

Ms Sampaio, who was also given her late husband’s wedding ring, said: ‘Now we can bring them home and say goodbye with love.’

Dom Phillips’s widow Alessandra Sampaio (centre) pleaded for justice after the funeral today

Sampaio (second from left) embraces Sian Phillips (second from right) at the ceremony

Bruno was buried on Friday. 

Their bodies were finally returned to the Phillips and Pereira families last week.

Four suspects have been detained by police. 

Pereira was introducing Phillips to people he could interview for an upcoming book about the Amazon when their boat failed to show up to a meeting place near the Peruvian border.

Suspect Gabriel Dantas, who handed himself into police in Sao Paulo on Friday, said he drove the boat that chased the two men. 

Dantas then shot the pair dead with a 16-gauge rifle inside the boat – and was following orders, he said.

She said after being given the body: ‘Now we can bring them home and say goodbye with love’

Brazilian campaigners are pictured asking: ‘Who ordered the killing of Dom and Bruno?’

Alessandra embraces another of Phillips’s family members at the cemetery in Brazil today

Indigenous campaigners have also demanded justice as violence against them spikes

The news came after the Brazilian ambassador in London had to apologise for its embassy pre-emptively telling the family of the journalist that the pair – including Pereira – were found dead.

Fisherman Amarildo da Costa, known as ‘Pelado,’ and his brother Oseney da Costa, both 41, or ‘Dos Santos,’ have also been arrested.

Amarildo was seen by witnesses in a boat following Phillips and Pereira at high speed before their disappearance.

The Javari region is an area notorious for illegal mining and drug trafficking, and the pair had reportedly faced threats before their disappearance

 The families of veteran correspondent Dom Phillips (pictured), 57, and Pereira, 41, endured an anguished wait for news before the worst was finally confirmed a few days ago

Bruno Araújo Pereira, an expert on the indigenous peoples of the Amazon, also went missing with his health ID card and clothes found alongside Mr Phillips’ backpack

Local police found traces of blood on his boat which are being analysed, and personal effects of the two missing men near the home of ‘Pelado,’ who was arrested on June 7 and has denied any involvement.

They also seized firearm cartridges and an oar.

Shock at their fate has echoed across Brazil and around the world, highlighting the overhaul of indigenous agency Funai under President Jair Bolsonaro, along with a rising tide of violence and criminal incursions on native lands.

Amariledo ‘Pelado’ da Costa was taken into custody by authorities in Amazonas, Brazil. His family claim he has been waterboarded by police in an effort to extract a confession

Heavily armed federal officers led the suspect onto a boat and towards the river where missing British journalist Dom Phillips and indigenous expert Bruno Pereira disappeared

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