Oseney da Costa de Oliveira, known as ‘Dos Santos’, was detained and was being interrogated “on suspicion of involvement in the case,” the authority said in a statement.
At the end of the investigation, the 41-year-old man would be taken to a custody hearing before the justice of Atalaia do Norte, an Amazonian municipality where Phillips and Pereira were going when they disappeared.
The police also seized some firearm cartridges and an oar while complying with two judicial search and seizure orders, although they did not specify whether these objects were found in the same place where “Dos Santos” was arrested.
‘Dos Santos’ is the second suspect in the hands of the authorities, after Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira, 41, known as ‘Pelado’, was arrested last Tuesday.
This 41-year-old fisherman, whose link with the newly captured man was not clarified, was seen by witnesses in a boat following the boat in which Phillips and Pereira were traveling at high speed before disappearing.
In the midst of the searches, the authorities found traces of blood on a boat owned by “Pelado,” who denies being involved, and personal belongings of the two disappeared submerged near his home.
Phillips, 57, and Pereira, 41, were last seen on Sunday June 5 while on a trip through the Javarí Valley region, in the extreme west of the state of Amazonas, on the border with Peru and Colombia. .
The journalist, a contributor to the British newspaper The Guardian and author of dozens of reports on the Amazon, was preparing a book on environmental conservation and Pereira accompanied him as a guide through this remote region where drug traffickers, loggers and illegal fishermen operate.
The disappearance sparked a wave of international solidarity and once again inflamed criticism against the far-right government of Jair Bolsonaro, accused of encouraging invasions of indigenous lands and sacrificing the preservation of the Amazon for economic exploitation.
The head of US diplomacy for Latin America and the Caribbean, Brian Nichols, tweeted on Tuesday that the case of Phillips and Pereira “underlines the worrying trend of violence against journalists and activists in the Americas.”