Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro said yesterday he believes “something wicked” was done to the missing British journalist Dom Phillips and the Brazilian Indigenous expert Bruno Pereira, amid unconfirmed claims their bodies had been found in the Amazon. (Guardian, see yesterday’s briefs.)
As Bolsonaro spoke, hundreds of Indigenous protesters marched through Atalaia do Norte, the riverside town from which Phillips and Pereira set off on June 2. Carrying spears, wearing traditional dress and singing in their native tongues, the Indigenous protesters marched through the streets to demand justice and denounce the historic assault on Brazil’s environment and Indigenous lands that has played out since Bolsonaro took power in 2019, reports the Guardian.
Though it is increasingly clear the men won’t be found alive, the Indigenous volunteer teams who have been tirelessly spearheading the search process are determined to defend their legacy by finding information about their disappearance, reports the Guardian.
State police officials have arrested Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira, a fisherman known locally as “Pelado,” or “naked” in Portuguese, for having illegal ammunition. The officials said that he is the main suspect in the disappearance. (New York Times)
Phillips was writing a book about sustainable development in the rainforest, and Pereira, a respected Indigenous rights advocate, collaborated on his research expeditions. Pereira formerly headed Brazil’s Indigenous affairs agency, the Funai, but was ousted by the Bolsonaro administration, which has supported extraction projects in the Amazon. (Guardian)
Bolsonaro asked U.S. President Joe Biden for help in his re-election bid during a private meeting on the sidelines of the Summit of the Americas last week, portraying his leftist opponent as a danger to U.S. interests, reports Bloomberg. (See Friday’s post.)
Bolsonaro’s clear intention of challenging a potential reelection loss in October is a looming crisis for Washington, write Nicholas Zimmerman and Roberto Simon in Americas Quarterly. Starting now, the Biden administration should ramp up backchannel outreach to the Brazilian national security establishment, in an attempt to thwart potential support of Bolsonaro’s attempts to subvert the election, they argue.
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio has asked the U.S. attorney general to request an Interpol red alert notice for the arrest of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro so he can be brought to the United States to face drug trafficking charges, reports the Miami Herald.
FARC dissident leader Leider Johany Noscue has been killed in a military operation in Colombia’s Cauca province, according to President Iván Duque who called him “one of the most wanted criminals in the country.” He was accused by authorities of murdering soldiers and community leaders, as well as kidnapping, extortion and cocaine trafficking, reports Al Jazeera.
Members of Colombia's security forces, particularly the police, are worried they will face significant changes if leftist presidential candidate Gustavo Petro wins Sunday’s runoff election, a dozen active and retired officials told Reuters. Petro promised to try military officers accused of human rights violations in civil courts, and a police restructuring that would dismantle its much-criticized riot squad.
The violent armed gangs that control much of Haiti are using social media to expand their reach and tighten their grip on the country, reports the Washington Post. Posts aimed at energizing recruits, intimidating rivals and terrorizing the population are challenging the platform’s ability to police the problematic content.
Dario Messer, the financier behind one of Latin America’s largest-ever money laundering schemes, has been condemned to 13 years behind bars in Brazil — but there is concern that the full truth about his actions in Paraguay may never come to light without a similar judicial process, reports Insight Crime.
Paraguayan authorities dismantled a criminal ring that sold a range of synthetic drugs — an indicator that this subset of the drug market in the country continues to expand, reports InSight Crime.
Chile’s Penuelas reservoir used to be Valparaiso’s main source of water, but drought has turned it into a huge expanse of dried and cracked earth, littered with fish skeletons and desperate animals searching for water, reports Reuters. A global shift in climate patterns sharpening natural weather cycles is behind the 13-year-drought, according to academic studies.
Mexico’s government is pushing rural families to produce more of their own food in order to move toward self-sufficiency in key products and to control prices for basic foodstuffs, reports the Associated Press. The government is anxious about food insecurity in a country where 44% of the population lives in poverty and where 27.5 million tons of corn are produced, but more than 40 million tons are consumed.
Cashew cultivation is increasingly an alternate crop for residents of Central America’s dry corridor. The trees, which are native to the region, contribute to community resilience in the face of climate change, reports the Guardian.
I wonder if you saw a story about a Venezuela cargo aircraft (747), supposedly carrying car parts from Queretaro, Mexico to a Renault manufacturing facility in Argentina. This happened over the weekend maybe on Sunday. It could not land at Ezeiza due to fog and was diverted to Cordoba. It did not use its transponder while in Argentine air space which alerted authorities. It had a mixed crew of Venezuelans and Iranians as well as some Iranian passengers. The AP reported today that some of these were Quds force members. The crew and passengers were not detained. The aircraft returned to BA but cannot leave due to a lack of fuel.