British journalist’s personal belongings Dom Phillips An expert from the Brazilian indigenous people Bruno Pereira They were found in the area of a flooded forest near the Amazon River where they were last seen.
Saturday’s things were discovered thanks to a The small but determined Aboriginal research team who has spent the past seven days on the front line in the search process To the two missing men who, in different ways, have championed the Aboriginal cause.
On Saturday morning, a few volunteer researchers from the Matisse Aboriginal community found what they suspected might be items belonging to the missing men.
One of Matisse’s volunteers said they decided to enter the secluded site off the Itaquai River after hearing what they thought sounded like someone was knocking over an aluminum boat.
“They felt it, imagined it and went kayaking [their canoes]Benin Mathis said. Aboriginal people can feel these things, like a soul. [It was like] The spirit of the forest says, “There is something in there.” That’s how the natives think.”
A larger group of Indigenous volunteers – accompanied by members of the Brazilian Military Police and a Guardian reporter who joined the Indigenous search teams – returned to the site shortly after 4pm and found a series of items floating in the murky brown waters of the area.
After discovering a blue piece of cloth that had been tied to a tree and identified as belonging to the Aboriginal Association of Javari, researchers found a piece of clothing that activists recognized as belonging to Bruno.
“It’s Bruno! It’s Bruno!” the researchers shouted as they examined the item.
Minutes later, a pair of dark pants emerged from the water before disappearing out of sight.
Federal police officers were called, and after arriving Sunday morning, they blocked off the narrow water channel leading into the area and deployed a team of forensic officers.
Forensic officers entered the flooded forest in small boats and confirmed the discovery.
A federal police statement said, on Sunday evening, that the items found included pants, a pair of shoes, a health care card belonging to Pereira, a backpack full of clothes and a pair of shoes owned by Philips.
Aboriginal experts and witnesses said the penetration would have been impossible without the efforts and deep local knowledge of the Aboriginal search teams who have been roaming the bushes and rivers of the Javari region in search of any trace of the two men.
“They are the Justice League in the woods,” said a military police official involved in the search for the two men, who were returning from a four-day press trip when they disappeared early last Sunday.
“Without their knowledge, and without them, we would not have found any of this,” said Fabricio Ferreira Amorim, an indigenous advocate who helps coordinate the search mission.
Phillips, a longtime Guardian contributor, was in the Javari region – which has the world’s largest concentration of uncontacted tribes – as part of the reports he was preparing for a book on the environment.
On Saturday, his Brazilian wife’s mother gave up She no longer thought the two men would go home.
“They are no longer with us,” she wrote on social media. “Their spirits have joined the spirits of many others who gave their lives defending the rainforests and indigenous peoples.”
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