Dom Phillips' sister says British journalist's death in the Amazon a 'dark time'

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The sister of British journalist Dom Phillips says his death is a 'tragedy' which has highlighted an international problem, according to his sister Sian Phillips.

The 57-year-old disappeared on June 5th along with a guide Bruno Pereira, in the Javari Valley. Local police have arrested three people over their deaths so far.

Brazilian authorities confirmed on Saturday (June 18) that the remains of one of the two bodies found buried in the rainforest was that of Dom Phillips.

The Bristol journalist was writing about life in the remote part of the forest, which has been besieged by organised crime including poachers and illegal fishermen.

Speaking to ITV News West Country, she said: "The good that can come out of this tragedy is that people are aware more of this particular area, this region and I think it has highlighted an area that people had really not heard about.

"It is a dark time for us, but it is a sort of closure. We are hoping the work that my brother was doing in writing a book about the Amazon and how to save the Amazon, can be published."

Supporters at a vigil outside the Brazilian Embassy in London for Dom Phillips and Bruno Araujo Pereira Credit: Victoria Jones/PA

She has been applying pressure on the Brazilian government who she says were slow to respond to his disappearance. She has also criticised the Home Office in the UK.

She said: "The government could do more in condemning these murders I think, they are murders for a war that is happening against nature which is affecting everybody in the planet."

In their latest statement issued on Friday night, Brazilian federal police said: “The confirmation (of Mr Phillips’ remains) was made based on dental examinations and anthropological forensics.

“Work is ongoing for a complete identification of the remains so we can determine the cause of death, and also the dynamics of the crime and the hiding of the bodies.”

Friends and colleagues of the environmental campaigner have paid tribute, with some suggesting the deaths were the latest in a spate of attacks in the Amazon.

Greenpeace UK’s executive director Pat Venditti described the pair as “brave, passionate and determined men” who had carried out the “vital work of shining a light” on the daily threats Brazil’s indigenous peoples face in defending their land and rights.

Jonathan Watts, the Guardian’s global environment editor, said his long-time friend Mr Phillips had died in “an undeclared global war against nature and the people who defend it”.