The sister of a British journalist missing in one of the remotest corners of the Amazon has made a tearful plea to the Brazilian authorities “to do all they can” in the search to find her brother – warning: “Every minute counts.”
Dom Phillips, a freelancer who has written about Brazil for The Guardian, The Washington Post, The New York Times and others, went missing with Bruno Araujo Pereira, a local expert and former government official whose job was to protect Brazil’s uncontacted tribes.
The pair were last seen over the weekend in Javari Valley of Amazonas state – near the border with Peru. The Javari region is home to the most uncontacted indigenous people in the world.
According to The Guardian, Mr Pereira had received a number of threats from loggers and miners in the region.
In an emotional video appeal posted on social media, Sian Phillips fought back tears as she called for urgency from the authorities in the search for her brother, who has been missing since Sunday.
“My brother Dom has been living in Brazil with his Brazilian wife,” she said. “He loves the country and cares deeply about the Amazon and the people there.
“We knew it was a dangerous place but Dom really believed it’s possible to safeguard the nature and the livelihood of the indigenous people.
“He is a talented journalist and was researching a book when he disappeared yesterday.”
She continued: “We are really worried about him and urge the authorities in Brazil to do all they can, search the route he was following.
“If anyone can help scale up resources available for the search, that would be great, because time is crucial.
“Here in the UK, my other brother and I are desperately worried. We love our brother and want him and his Brazilian guide Bruno Pereira found.
“Every minute counts.”
Brazil’s Navy on Monday dispatched a crew of 10 people to search for Mr Phillips and Mr Pereira. Brazil’s federal police said they are also working to locate the pair.
A spokesperson for Britain’s Foreign Office said it is in contact with Brazilian authorities.