Longtime Brazil-based reporter Dom Phillips is missing since Sunday in the western Amazon, near Brazil’s triple border with Colombia and Peru. The Indigenous leader he was traveling with had been receiving threats, and now both are unaccounted for while the Brazilian security forces slowly creep into action. It’s not looking good right now.
I don’t think I’ve ever met Phillips—I’ve only been to Brazil once in my life, so I wouldn’t have been a useful source for him. But he’s been a crucial window for me into what’s happening in Brazil. My news database has links to 102 articles from him over the years. Here are 16 of them. This is devastating.
July 22, 2020
- Dom Phillips, “Brazil’s Coronavirus Catastrophe Is Spreading Into the Country’s Vulnerable Interior” (The Intercept, July 22, 2020).
Brazilians like Silva are dying in remote towns whose health systems can’t handle the caseload. And doctors and health specialists say Bolsonaro’s dismissal of the pandemic has confused Brazilians, eroded lockdowns, and helped propagate Covid-19
June 9, 2020
- Dom Phillips, “‘Enormous Disparities’: Coronavirus Death Rates Expose Brazil’s Deep Racial Inequalities” (The Guardian, June 9, 2020).
Covid-19 first hit Brazil’s white upper classes, who brought it back from abroad. Now the virus is scything through the country’s poorer suburbs, favelas and low-income towns
May 6, 2020
- Dom Phillips, Daniel Camargos, “Forest Fire Season Is Coming. How Can We Stop the Amazon Burning?” (The Guardian, May 6, 2020).
We need to step back into the Amazon’s chaotic and rapacious history of colonisation
March 4, 2020
- Dom Phillips, “World’s Biggest Meat Company Linked to ‘Brutal Massacre’ in Amazon” (The Guardian, March 4, 2020).
On 19 April 2017, nine men were brutally murdered in what became known as the “Colniza massacre”. The men had been squatting on remote forest land in the state of Mato Grosso
January 13, 2020
- Dom Phillips, “‘Like a Bomb Going Off’: Why Brazil’s Largest Reserve Is Facing Destruction” (The Guardian (Uk), January 13, 2020).
Gold prospectors are ravaging the Yanomami indigenous reserve. So why does President Bolsonaro want to make them legal?
January 2, 2020
- Tom Phillips, Dom Phillips, Jonathan Watts, “Brazilians on Bolsonaro’s First Year: ‘If You Disagree, You’re Seen as a Traitor’” (The Guardian (Uk), January 2, 2020).
Six prominent voices from the arts, media, diplomacy and the Amazon give their views on the far-right president’s opening 12 months
February 25, 2019
- Clavel Rangel, Emily Costa, Dom Phillips, Emma Graham-Harrison, “‘Venezuelan Blood Is Being Spilled’: Tension Flares Near Border With Brazil” (The Guardian (Uk), February 25, 2019).
It was the remote frontier with Brazil that saw the worst violence and the boldest – though unfounded – claims of success in getting aid into Venezuela
December 18, 2018
- Dom Phillips, “Brazil’s Biggest Tribal Reserve Faces Uncertain Future Under Bolsonaro” (The Guardian (Uk), December 18, 2018).
Bolsonaro has said the Yanomami reserve, which at 9.6m hectares (24m acres) is twice the size of Switzerland, was too big for its indigenous population
August 24, 2018
- Dom Phillips, Gary Calton, “Tribes in Deep Water: Gold, Guns and the Amazon’s Last Frontier” (The Guardian (Uk), August 24, 2018).
Mining reserves – and plentiful fish – mean Brazil’s Javari Valley is increasingly at risk from armed poachers seeking to plunder its resources. So, too, are the tribes who call it home
August 22, 2018
- Dom Phillips, “A Massacre of Amazon Tribespeople? The Search for Evidence Goes On” (The Guardian (Uk), August 22, 2018).
The case has exposed the vulnerability of isolated groups in the Javari Valley, the prejudice indigenous people face in communities around them, and the difficulties of such investigations
August 21, 2018
- Dom Phillips, Gary Calton, “Lost Tribes: The 1,000km Rainforest Mission to Protect an Amazon Village” (The Guardian (Uk), August 21, 2018).
Dom Phillips and Gary Calton joined an expedition to track the whereabouts of an uncontacted tribe, who threaten the safety of Brazil’s Marubo people
July 12, 2018
- Dom Phillips, “‘Lesser Evil’: How Brazil’s Militias Wield Terror to Seize Power From Gangs” (The Guardian (Uk), July 12, 2018).
Known as “militias”, paramilitary groups – which often include former and serving police officers and firefighters – have quietly taken control of swathes of Rio’s western suburbs
August 10, 2017
Venezuela, Western Hemisphere Regional
- Dom Phillips, Sibylla Brodzinsky, David Agren, Dan Collyns, Uki Goñi, “‘Totally Divided’: How Venezuela’s Crisis Split the Latin American Left” (The Guardian (Uk), August 10, 2017).
The steady erosion of human rights has left Latin American leftists – once broadly united behind its charismatic late leader Hugo Chávez – in disarray
July 17, 2017
- Sibylla Brodzinsky, Dom Phillips, Dan Collyns, Uki Goñi, “‘At Home, We Couldn’t Get By’: More Venezuelans Flee as Crisis Deepens” (The Guardian (Uk), July 17, 2017).
As Venezuela falls further into turmoil, more of its citizens are leaving a country that once served as a haven
February 9, 2017
- Dom Phillips, “The Populist Bishop and the Apprentice Host: Meet Brazil’s New Megacity Mayors” (The Guardian (Uk), February 9, 2017).
A multimillionaire reality TV star and an evangelical bishop might seem worlds apart. But the surprise new populist mayors of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo both signal a rejection of traditional leaders by cities mired in economic crisis
November 9, 2015
- Dom Phillips, “Even the military may not be enough to protect an endangered Amazon tribe” (The Washington Post, November 9, 2015).
It was Brazil’s biggest-ever operation of its kind and was hailed by activists internationally. But now, signs of the settlers’ return are rife