Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira: Brazilian ex-officials charged with murder
The former head of Brazil’s Indigenous protection agency has been charged with murder in the death of British journalist Dom Phillips.
The official, identified by state media as Marcelo Xavier, was not identified by police.
He was charged with “possible malice” for failing to act on information that, according to investigators, could have avoided Phillips’ death.
Phillips and Brazilian indigenous activist Bruno Pereira were slain last year while on a reporting trip in the Amazon rainforest.
Three guys have been accused separately with the double killing.
Pereira was traveling by boat with Phillips, a seasoned journalist who has written for publications such as The Guardian and The Washington Post, across the Javari Valley near Brazil’s border with Peru as part of Phillips’ research for a book on Amazon conservation efforts.
The vast territory, which is home to over 6,300 Indigenous people from over 20 different groups, is under attack from illegal loggers, miners, and hunters.
The couple went missing on June 5, 2022, and their bodies were discovered ten days later.
The former president and former vice-president of Brazil’s National Foundation for Indigenous Peoples (Funai) organization were charged in the latest step in the case.
While authorities did not name the two officials, several media outlets, including state television Agencia Brasil, identified one of them as Mr Xavier.
They learned at a conference in 2019 and from other papers that the lives of agency personnel, such as Pereira, were at danger in violent places like the Javari Valley.
However, they did not take the “necessary measures” to protect them, according to authorities.