IACHR Grants Precautionary Measures in Favor of Indigenous Rights Defender Bruno Araújo Pereira and Journalist Dom Phillips in Brazil

June 11, 2022

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Washington, D.C. – The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) issued Resolution 24/2022 on June 11, 2022, to grant precautionary measures in favor of indigenous rights defender Bruno Araújo Pereira and journalist Dom Phillips in Brazil, in the belief that they face a serious, urgent risk of suffering irreparable harm to their rights since they remain missing.

The request for these precautionary measures says that the whereabouts and condition of Araújo Pereira and Phillips remain unknown since June 5, 2022, when they were traveling together from the Indigenous Land of the Vale del Javari toward the city of Atalaia do Norte to visit the Indigenous Surveillance team and conduct interviews. According to the parties who requested these precautionary measures, the disappearance of both men allegedly happened in a context of escalating violence against human rights defenders, journalists, and social communication specialists.

The request for precautionary measures alleges that, once these disappearances were reported, State efforts to look for the two men were not immediate and only got underway following intense mobilization by civil society, national and international media outlets, and social media. The request says that the measures taken to date are insufficient, given the size of the area in question and other technical challenges.

The Commission noted that the situation of the proposed beneficiaries was widely known by domestic authorities, that various domestic judicial decisions had been issued at different levels to demand the immediate adoption of all measures necessary to locate both missing men, and that, in spite of that, they remained missing.

After assessing the information provided in the request for precautionary measures, the IACHR considered that the impact on the rights of the proposed beneficiaries was imminent. Consequently, no prior request for information was made to Brazil (in line with the exception held in Article 25.5 of the Commission's Rules of Procedure).

In keeping with Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure, the Commission asks the Brazilian State to take the following action:

  1. Step up its efforts to establish the whereabouts and condition of Bruno Araújo Pereira and Dom Phillips, in order to protect their rights to life and personal integrity, so they can continue to do their work in defense of human rights or their journalistic activity, as the case may be
  2. Report on any actions adopted to investigate with due diligence the alleged events that gave rise to the adoption of this precautionary measure, in order to prevent such events from happening again in the future

The fact that this precautionary measure has been granted and its adoption by the State do not entail a prejudgment on a potential petition that may be filed before the inter-American system to allege violations of rights protected by the applicable instruments.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for and to defend human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 133/22

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