Brazilian authorities have charged the previous chief of the nation’s Indigenous Safety Company for his function within the 2022 killings of British journalist Dom Phillips and famend indigenous skilled Bruno Pereira.
The previous head of the nation’s Nationwide Basis for Indigenous Peoples (FUNAI) is accused of failing to correctly act on data that would have prevented the murders of Phillips and Pereira, Brazilian authorities mentioned in a information launch.
One other high-ranking former official was additionally indicted on the identical fees. Police haven’t named the 2 former officers, however Brazilian media recognized them as Marcelo Xavier and his second-in-command, Alcir Amaral Teixeira.
Phillips, a contract journalist who typically wrote for retailers together with The Guardian, The Washington Put up, and the Monetary Occasions, disappeared in June 2022 whereas on a reporting journey in Vale do Javari, one of many largest indigenous territories in Brazil.
He was accompanied by Pereira, an indigenous skilled and former FUNAI worker.
The pair went lacking on June 5. Their our bodies have been discovered 10 days later following an indigenous-led search by the distant area. An post-mortem later revealed they have been killed by a “firearm and typical searching ammunition.”
In keeping with federal authorities, Xavier and Teixeira have been conscious the 2 males have been in danger however did not take the “vital measures” to guard them. Their omissions culminated within the double murder, authorities mentioned.
Xavier, a former police chief, was named head of FUNAI in early 2019 by Jair Bolsonaro, who was Brazil’s president on the time.
The far-right president, who left workplace in December 2022, was fiercely criticised by organisations in Brazil and overseas for his blatant anti-environmental insurance policies. His presidency was seen as a “disaster for the setting,” which led to record-high deforestation and “severely [threatened] the rights of indigenous peoples.”
Following the lads’s disappearance, Xavier insinuated the pair may have entered the territory with out permission. Final yr he mentioned the case – which dominated headlines within the nation on the time – was being utilized by political opponents of Bolsonaro throughout a heated election season, in response to The Guardian.
Three different suspects have been beforehand charged with double murder and concealment of corpses. Earlier this yr, a gang chief was named the alleged “mastermind” of the killings, however has but to be formally charged.
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