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Story Publication logo June 17, 2022

Motivation for the Deaths of Bruno Pereira and Dom Phillips Will Define the Path of the Legal Process (Portuguese)

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A series of investigative reports will look into the actions of the authorities and institutions in...

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This story excerpt was translated from Portuguese. To read the original story in full, visit Agência Pública. You may also view the original story on the Rainforest Journalism Fund website here. Our website is available in English, Spanish, bahasa Indonesia, French, and Portuguese.


  • Federal Police denied in a note the hypothesis of a "crime of command".
  • Univaja criticized in a note the denial by the Federal Police of a possible "crime of command".
  • Relatives of "Dos Santos" and "Pelado" were heard by the Civil Police.

Why did they kill Bruno Pereira and Dom Phillips? The answer to this question will define the path of the Justice process, according to sources close to the investigation heard by Agência Pública in Atalaia do Norte (AM).

If the case remains in state court, the Public Prosecutor's Office may request a change of venue to the city of Manaus (AM), i.e., request that the future Jury Tribunal be held in the capital of Amazonas, about 1,100 km as the crow flies from Atalaia do Norte (AM). The measure would circumvent possible difficulties in the choice of the jury and political and social pressures, since the family of the accused is large and well-known in the region.


Arrival of remains in Atalaia do Norte (AM) on the night of June 15. Forensics in Brasília will confirm if they are those of Bruno and Dom. Image by Avener Prado for Agência Pública. Brazil, 2022.

The inquiry into the murders is currently being conducted by the Civil Police in the State of Amazonas under the supervision of the Public Prosecutor's Office and the state courts. A second inquiry, into the disappearances, is being handled by the Federal Police.


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For the Civil Police, the authorship of the crime was solved based on a confession by fisherman Amarildo da Costa Oliveira, also known as "Pelado", as well as the report of witnesses, the work of technical experts, and a reconstruction of the crime that resulted in the location of the remains in an area near the São Gabriel community. The forensics on the bodies will be concluded during the course of next week, according to a note from the Federal Police.


The atmosphere in Atalaia do Norte (AM) is one of trauma and apprehension among the local population. Image by Avener Prado for Agência Pública. Brazil, 2022.

The movement of the search teams on June 15 on the Itaquaí river. Image by José Medeiros for Agência Pública. Brazil, 2022.

Ednilson Almeida Tananta, lawyer of Amarildo (Pelado) and Oseney (Dos Santos) in front of the police station with family members of the suspects. Image by Avener Prado for Agência Pública. Brazil, 2022.

Father Alberto led a corpus christi procession in Atalaia on Thursday, June 16. The religious manifestation started in front of the police station and went through the main streets of the city, ending in the main church - the suspects, who are still in jail at the police station, heard everything. Image by Avener Prado for Agência Pública. Brazil, 2022.

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