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Foreign Office minister meets with Brazilian chief of police over missing Briton

Foreign Office minister meets with Brazilian chief of police over missing Briton
Vicky Ford said the UK is ‘ready to support’ the official search operation.

A Foreign Office minister has met Brazil’s chief of police to discuss the disappearance of a British journalist in the Amazon.

The UK’s Dom Phillips and Brazilian indigenous affairs official Bruno Araujo Pereira vanished from a remote part of the rainforest more than three days ago, having reportedly last been seen early on Sunday in the Sao Rafael community.

Chelmsford MP Vicky Ford said she spoke with Brazil’s justice and public security minister Anderson Torres, who is also in charge of the federal police, at the Summit of the Americas in Los Angeles.

“He assured me Brazilian authorities are doing all that can be done in air, boats & land in v difficult and remote terrain to find Dom and will keep searching,” the minister tweeted.

“(The) UK is ready to support (the) operation,” she added.

Mr Phillips’ sister on Thursday said she still has hope that he will be found.

Sian Phillips was joined by supporters at a vigil for her brother and Mr Pereira outside the Brazilian embassy in central London.

In a statement to the press, Ms Phillips, who donned a red top and held a red rose, with her partner Paul Sherwood and twin brother Gareth Phillips by her side, said: “We had to come this morning, to ask the question: where is Dom Phillips? Where is Bruno Pereira?

“And we are also here for my brother’s wife, Alessandra Sampaio. We are here with my brother’s nieces and sister-in-law too.

“We are here because Dom is missing, he is lost doing the important job of investigative journalism. We are here to make the point that why did it take so long for them to start the search for my brother and for Bruno.

People take part in a vigil outside the Brazilian embassy (Victoria Jones/PA)
People take part in a vigil outside the Brazilian embassy (Victoria Jones/PA)

“We want the search to carry on.”

When asked about the chances of her brother being found, she added: “We all still have hope. We have hope.”

At 9.30am, a letter was given to the Brazilian ambassador from Greenpeace UK’s executive director Pat Venditti and Mr Phillips’ family.

Left to right, Sian Phillips, Gareth Phillips, Paul Sherwood, Helen Davies, Rhianna Davies and Domonique Davies take part in a vigil outside the Brazilian embassy in London (Victoria Jones/PA)
Left to right, Sian Phillips, Gareth Phillips, Paul Sherwood, Helen Davies, Rhianna Davies and Domonique Davies take part in a vigil outside the Brazilian embassy in London (Victoria Jones/PA)

Louisa Casson, head of forests at Greenpeace UK, said the letter presents “an urgent call on the Brazilian government to dedicate all necessary local and federal resources to the search mission for Bruno and Dom”.

The vigil came after a suspect named as 41-year-old Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira, also known as Pelado, was arrested for allegedly carrying a firearm without a permit, a common practice in the region.

Police did not clarify why he was being treated as a suspect but he is thought to have been among a group of men who threatened the pair near an indigenous territory on Saturday.