IACHR Press Office
Washington, D.C.- The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) reports the creation of a Joint Working Group on the implementation of precautionary measures MC-449-22 in favor of Bruno Araújo Pereira, Dom Phillips and 11 members of the Union of Indigenous Peoples of the Javari Valley (UNIVAJA). The Working Group is the result of a joint proposal by the State of Brazil, the beneficiaries and their representatives and was agreed at a working meeting held with the parties on July 31, 2023.
The Joint Working Group is carried out in the framework of the follow-up process to the implementation of Precautionary Measure 449-22, as well as of Follow-up and Extension Resolution 59/22 of October 27, 2022, and aims to contribute to the full compliance with the precautionary measures, ensuring a space for articulation and complementarity between the national levels and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
The Working Group is composed of three structuring axes of action, namely: the operation of a National Articulation and Coordination Group; follow-up and monitoring actions of the IACHR; sessions of the Joint Working Group. The Working Group also foresees the elaboration of a Plan of Action by the parties within two months, with an expected duration of two years. The IACHR and its Special Rapporteurship for Freedom of Expression are available to collaborate technically in this regard.
The IACHR recalls that the precautionary measures were granted to redouble efforts to determine the situation and whereabouts of Bruno Araújo Pereira and Dom Phillips, who disappeared while touring the Javari Valley Indigenous Land as part of a working visit by the Indigenous Watch team to the site to conduct interviews. Subsequently, these were extended to protect 11 members of UNIVAJA, threatened for their work in protecting the indigenous peoples of the Javari Valley and their territory, as well as for their direct participation in the search for Bruno Araújo Pereira and Dom Phillips and the demand for justice for their murders.
Through its First Vice-President and Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples ‒Commissioner Esmeralda Arosemena de Troitiño‒, the Inter-American Commission recognized "the commitment of the State of Brazil to implement these precautionary measures, which address such relevant issues as the special protection of Indigenous Peoples in the Amazon, and to continue and improve the work of investigation and punishment of those responsible for the murders of indigenous activist Bruno Araújo Pereira and journalist Dom Phillips".
Moreover, Commissioner Julissa Mantilla, Rapporteur for Brazil, emphasized that "the creation of the Joint Working Group is a noteworthy international gesture of the State's willingness to implement precautionary measures." The Commissioner reinforced the willingness of the IACHR to collaborate in the protection of the beneficiaries, the search for justice, and the adoption of measures of non-repetition.
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.