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The Guardian view on Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira: protect people, protect the planet | Editorial

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Journalists and environmental defenders are at greatest risk in Latin America. All those who put them in danger must be held accountable

The murders of the British journalist Dom Phillips and the Brazilian Indigenous expert Bruno Pereira were not only a shocking and incalculable loss for their families and all those who loved them and admired their work. They were also a chilling reminder of the perils faced both by journalists and environmental defenders – particularly Indigenous peoples and those working with them – in Latin America.

Seven months have passed since the men were killed in the Javari valley region of the Amazon. On Monday, Brazilian police announced that they had arrested the alleged mastermind. Rubens Villar Coelho, nicknamed Colômbia, was first detained on separate charges last July, when he denied any involvement in the crime. He has been accused of running an illegal fishing operation. Three other men are in custody over the deaths.

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