JOURNALISTS APPEAL TO BRAZILIAN OFFICIALS TO INCREASE THEIR SEARCH FOR MISSING JOURNALIST DOM PHILLIPS AND INDIGENOUS EXPERT BRUNO PEREIRA IN THE AMAZON

The Board of the Alicia Patterson Foundation, in conjunction with its former and current journalism fellows, urges Brazilian authorities to increase their efforts to find former Alicia Patterson fellow Dom Phillips and Indigenous activist Bruno Pereira, missing since Sunday in Brazil’s remote Amazonas state.

Journalism and human rights groups throughout the world are asking that Brazilian military and police officials step up their search for the two missing men. They include the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting, the Committee to Protect Journalists, The Guardian, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, among others.

Phillips, a British citizen who has lived in Brazil since 2007, is a frequent contributor to The Guardian. He researched the climate and economic changes in the Amazon under an Alicia Patterson Foundation grant in 2021-2022 and is working on a book about realistic ways forward to save the rainforest. He was accompanied on a trip in the Javari Valley by Pereira, a longtime expert on indigenous peoples in Brazil who works for the Brazilian government’s National Indian Foundation and the Union of Indigenous Peoples of the Javari Valley. The area is known for illegal logging and Pereira has recently received death threats. Search efforts have been slow and army and navy units have yet to be dispatched to the area.

“Dom is a careful and cautious reporter who is an expert on the complexity of the problems facing the rainforest,” said Margaret Engel, director of the Alicia Patterson Foundation. “We ask that Brazilian authorities work with dispatch to locate these two men who care so deeply about this region."

Phillips is known to many of the 100 journalists who are gathering this week in Washington, D.C. for a conference focusing on the rainforest. Jon Sawyer, executive director of the Pulitzer Center, which organized the conference, said, “We join so many others in praying that Phillips and Pereira are safe, and that they will be reunited soon with family and friends. We insist that the Brazilian government deploy every resource towards finding them — and that it stop the incitement of violence and illegal activities in the rainforest region.”