Human remains discovered in Brazil confirmed as former Mixmag editor Dom Phillips
A fisherman has confessed to murdering the British journalist
Brazilian police have confirmed one of the two bodies discovered in the Amazon rainforest in Brazil is British journalist and former Mixmag editor Dom Phillips.
The identification was made based on dental records.
A second body discovered, believed to be the Brazilian Idigenous expert Bruno Pereira who Phillips was reported missing alongside on June 5, is still being examined prior to identification.
Two men have currently been identified as suspects in relation to the murder of Phillips and suspected murder of Pereira: fisherman Amarildo da Costa, who was arrested last week on weapons charges, and his brother Oseney da Costa, who was taken in by police on Tuesday.
Amarildo da Costa has confessed to murdering and dismembering the two men, regional police chief Eduardo Fontes said at a press briefing on Wednesday, June 15.
He led police to the site where he informed them the bodies were buried, which police excavated and discovered the remains of two men.
Dom Phillips' family said they are “heartbroken”.
In a statement they said: “We are grateful to all those who have taken part in the search, especially the Indigenous groups who worked tirelessly to find evidence of the attack.
“We thank the many people who have joined us in urging the authorities to intensify the search and those who have reached out with words of comfort and sympathy.”
Dom Phillips’ wife Alessandra Sampaio said: “Now we can bring them home and say goodbye with love,” noting that the confession marked the start of a “quest for justice”.
Phillips worked at Mixmag from 1991 to 1999, and was editor of the magazine from 1993 to 1997. He coined the genre term “progressive house” in a 1992 article in the magazine, and also wrote the 2009 book Superstar DJs Here We Go!: The Rise and Fall of the Superstar DJ.
Phillips’ journalistic focus since 2007 has been on Brazil, its indingenious communities and the environment, contributing to newspapers including the Guardian, the Washington Post, the New York Times and the Financial Times.
He has reported critically on topics including the policies of Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, corruption among the president’s political allies, and allegations against meat processing companies and goldminers for illegal Amazon deforestation that is impacting indigenous communities.
Bruno Araújo Pereira is a former government employee whose work focused on protecting Brazil’s uncontacted tribes. He has regularly received threats from loggers and miners seeking to exploit Indigenous lands.
A fundraiser has been set up to aid the families of Phillips and Pereira. Donate here.
Patrick Hinton is Mixmag's Digital Editor, follow him on Twitter