A fundraiser has been set up to aid the ongoing search for missing journalist Dom Phillips and Brazilian Indigenous expert Bruno Pereira and their families.
With a goal of reaching $50,000, all funds will go towards the families of the former Mixmag editor and local expert who went missing in the Brazilian Amazon on June 5, as they continue the search for the missing men.
This fundraiser was set up by friends of Dom and Bruno on behalf of their respective partners Alessandra and Beatriz with full permission and support
The description on GoFundMe notes: "Dom and Bruno both love the Amazon. They heroically put their lives on the line for years to stop the criminal loggers, miners, and gangsters from irreparably destroying it for future generations.
"At this tragic moment, when these families have so much to worry about, money should not be another concern. Dom, Bruno, Alê, Beatriz, and their children need our help not only to pay the bills, but also to cover new costs that emerge as they continue the search. Even the smallest donation is valuable. Together we can show that these brave souls are not alone and that we are united behind them!"
Yesterday it was reported that two bodies had been found in the Brazilian Amazon tied to a tree, feared to be those of Phillips and Pereira. Brazilian police have since denied this information.
According to British relatives of Phillips, they were contacted by the Brazilian embassy in London who informed them bodies were discovered near the men’s last known location and had not yet been identified.
Phillips’ family were allegedly told by the Brazilian ambassador to the UK yesterday morning, June 13, via a phone call. “He said he wanted us to know that… they had found two bodies,” said Phillips’s brother-in-law, Paul Sherwood.
“He didn’t describe the location and just said it was in the rainforest and he said they were tied to a tree and they hadn’t been identified yet. He said that when it was light, or when it was possible they would do an identification,” Sherwood said.
Brazilian police have since issued a denial, stating that only some of the men's belongings and some "biological material", which is still being tested, has been found.
Both Phillips and Pereira embarked on a journalistic mission through the Brazilian Amazon last month where they were set to report on local Indigenous communities. The men went missing on their return to Atalaia do Norte in the Javari region, which was due to take four days and see their return on Sunday, June 5.
Locals, authorities, and volunteers began searching around the Itaquai River where the men were last seen travelling by boat.
On Saturday, June 11, items belonging to the missing men were reportedly found by Indigenous volunteers close to their last known location. A blue tarpaulin was found off the River Itaquaí in a secluded forest.
A larger group working on the search alongside Brazil’s military police and a Guardian reporter later found a pair of boots and backpack filled with clothes belonging to Phillips, and a healthcare card and other items belonging to Pereira.
Since their disappearance, police have denied reports of two bodies being found, but reiterated the discovery of their belongings and 'biological material' which is currently undergoing testing.
The Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro, has said he believes “something wicked” was done to the men.
Donate to the ongoing crowdfund here.