Brazilian football legend Pele has joined calls for authorities to step up their search for a missing British journalist in one of the most remote corners of the Amazon.
Everton and other sports figures such as Brazilian forward Richarlison and former Brazilian international Walter Casagrande Junior have also urged authorities to step up efforts to find the duo.
Dom Phillips, 57, a freelance writer who writes about Brazil for The Guardian, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and others, has disappeared with his guide and Bruno Araujo Pereira, a former government official whose job is to protect contactless tribes. Brazil.
The two were last seen over the weekend in the Javari Valley in Amazonas state, near the Peruvian border. The Javari region is home to some of the world’s most isolated indigenous peoples.
Pelé, 81, wrote on Twitter that he was emotional. their disappearance.
“The fight to protect the Amazon rainforest and protect indigenous groups belongs to all of us… Dom Phillips and Bruno Pereira have dedicated their lives to this cause,” said the three-time World Cup winner.
“I agree with many voices calling for more research and finding them as soon as possible. »
Pelé also shared a video of Mr. Phillips’ wife, Alessandra Sampaio, making an emotional plea for further action.
This is part of their plan for a vigil in central London on Thursday.
Fans are expected to gather in front of the Brazilian Embassy around 8 a.m. with large footage of Messrs. Phillips and Pereira.
The Brazilian Navy and Army sent search teams with boats and helicopters to locate the duo and are backed by federal and state police.
Guilherme Torres, head of the Amazonas State Civil Police Department of the Interior, said earlier this week that he could not say his disappearances were linked to gangs operating in the lawless area.
According to The Guardian, Mr. Pereira has received several threats from lumberjacks and miners in the area.
On Wednesday, Brazilian police arrested a suspect named Amarildo da Costa de Oliveira, 41, also known as Pelado, for allegedly carrying an unlicensed firearm, a common practice in the region.
Police did not explain why he was treated as a suspect, but he is believed to have been part of a group of men who threatened the couple near native land on Saturday.
Officers interviewed at least four witnesses who are believed to be among the last to see Mr. Phillips and Mr. Pereira.
Mr. Phillips’ sister told Sky News: “I’m so worried. I’m desperately worried. This is your biggest fear.”
Sean Phillips added: “We need everything for this. We ask the British authorities to pressure the Brazilian authorities to act. »