Six months after the assassination of Brazilian ethnologist Bruno Pereira and British journalist Dom Phillips in the Amazon, the Brazilian federal police claim to have identified the sponsor of the operation. It would be a poacher nicknamed Colombia.
Rubén Dario da Silva Villar, alias “Colombia”, is responsible for the death of Bruno Pereira and Dom Philips who were killed while carrying out a mission in the Javari Valley, one of the most perilous areas in the Amazon due to all kinds of trafficking. The federal police, which is conducting the investigation on the ground, no longer has any doubts, reports our correspondent in Sao Paulo, Martin Bernard.
The bodies of the two victims were found in June. Amarildo da Costa, known as “Pelado”, had confessed to the crime, but the police were looking for the sponsor. According to the police, it was “Colombia” who provided the ammunition to “Pelado”, and it was also he who paid for his lawyer.
In detention since December, Ruben da Silva Villar is suspected of leading a criminal organization for illegal fishing in the Javari Valley, where the crimes were committed. This vast stretch of isolated jungle, on Brazil’s borders with Peru and Colombia, is plagued by an upsurge in illegal fishing, logging and mining, and drug trafficking.
Bruno Pereira fought against illegal fishing in the indigenous reserve of this valley which has the largest concentration of tribes ever to have come into contact with the rest of the world. ” The control of illegal fishing that was exercised by Bruno brought great harm to the criminal group “, explained the police chief of Amazonas.
The indigenous leaders who cooperated with Bruno Pereira already formally accused “Colombia” of ordering the death of the Brazilian expert for having organized indigenous patrols that seized illegal fishing cargoes.
The assassination of the two men had provoked a wave of international protests. The International Federation of Journalists had precisely demanded that the sponsors be identified and found.