- by cnn
- 30 Nov 2023
Two more suspects have been named in the alleged murders of British journalist Dom Phillips and indigenous expert Bruno Pereira, including the alleged mastermind of the crime, Brazilian police say.
Phillips and Pereira were shot dead a year ago while they were returning from a reporting trip in the Amazon.
Ruben Villar, also known as "Colombia," has been named as a suspect and the "mastermind" of the crime, according to the statement by Brazil's Federal Police. He is suspected of being the leader of an illegal fishing criminal organization in the region.
Fisherman Janio Freitas de Souza has also been named as a suspect and has links to the illegal fishing criminal organization, the statement added.
Both men have been imprisoned since July 2022, along with three other suspects and are awaiting trial, police told CNN.
Phillips and Pereira disappeared on June 5, 2022, while conducting research for a book project on conservation efforts in the region, which authorities have described as "complicated" and "dangerous."
The pair had been traveling in the Javari Valley, in the far western side of the Brazilian Amazon, before they were killed and had received death threats just days prior to their disappearance, according to the Coordination of the Indigenous Organization, known as UNIVAJA.
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