– Phillips, journalist passionate about the Amazon –

Dom Phillips, 57, is a regular contributor to the British daily The Guardian, who has worked in Brazil for 15 years. He first lived in the Southeast, in Sao Paulo, then in Rio de Janeiro, before settling a few years ago in Salvador (northeast), with his Brazilian wife, Alessandra Sampaio.

This Amazon enthusiast has done dozens of reports in the areas where he has been in recent days, investigating for a book on the Javari Valley, with the support of the Alicia Patterson Foundation, based in the United States.

In Brazil, Dom Phillips has often investigated the advance of miners and clandestine herders in protected areas for various media such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Financial Times or The Intercept, in addition to The Guardian.

“Beautiful Amazonia”, he wrote on May 30 on his Instagram account, one of his last publications, with a video where he sails on a river aboard a small boat.

Before arriving in Brazil in 2007, Phillips was editor of a UK music magazine, Mixmag, and published a book on DJ culture.

It was the musical and cultural universe of Brazil that attracted him to a trip to Sao Paulo, where he finally stayed. “He felt at home in Brazil,” wrote foreign correspondents in a letter published by the daily O Globo.

He got involved in various social projects, in the favelas of Rio de Janeiro or Salvador.

“For his friends, he’s a smiling guy who gets up before the sun to go stand-up paddleboarding,” his journalist friends say in the same letter. Phillips, they add, was “eagerly awaiting” the process “to be able to adopt a child with his wife”.

– Pereira, the threatened defender of the natives –

Bruno Pereira, 41, was for years an expert for Funai, an organization responsible for indigenous affairs in Brazil, and a recognized defender of indigenous rights.

This married man and father of three children was regional coordinator of Funai in Atalaia do Norte, the municipality towards which he was heading last Sunday with Dom Phillips when they disappeared.

He was also the coordinator of Funai’s uncontacted or recently contacted natives unit, for which he was in charge of one of the largest recent expeditions aimed at contacting isolated ethnic groups and avoiding conflicts between them.

He was currently on leave from Funai and dedicated himself, with various NGOs, to security monitoring projects in the villages of the Javarí Valley, an immense indigenous territory bordering Peru under pressure from drug traffickers, fishermen, loggers and clandestine gold miners.

His action in favor of indigenous peoples has earned him regular threats, including death, from these criminal groups.

When they disappeared, Bruno Pereira served as an attendant and guide to Dom Phillips, for his second trip to this very remote region.

Given his great knowledge of the terrain, it seems unlikely that the two men could have had an accident or got lost.

He is “courageous and very involved”, told AFP Fiona Watson, research director of the NGO Survival International. “In fact, he was kicked out of Funai because he was doing what this organization should be doing and hasn’t done since (President) Jair Bolsonaro came to power: defending indigenous peoples.”