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Story Publication logo June 18, 2022

Fishermen’s Leader Accuses Media of “Sensationalism” and Congressman Speaks of “Isolated Facts” (Portuguese)


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This story excerpt was translated from Portuguese. To read the original story in full, visit Agência Pública. You may also view the original story on the Rainforest Journalism Fund website here. Our RJF website is available in English, Spanish, bahasa Indonesia, French, and Portuguese.

  • Murdered Indigenous activist Bruno Pereira and slain British journalist Dom Phillips were not mentioned by name once.
  • Assembly of God organized the meeting with the fishermen.
  • Evangelical deputy says one can't "mix things up" and defends fishing.

Image by José Medeiros. Brazil, 2022.

Amidst the commotion caused by the murder of Bruno Pereira and British journalist Dom Phillips, fishermen leaders met Saturday, June 18, at the sports gym in the center of Atalaia do Norte (AM) with federal deputy Silas Câmara (Republicans-AM) and criticized the press for covering the case. A member of the evangelical caucus and Vice President of the Parliamentary Fishing Front, the deputy called the deaths an "isolated fact", but expressed solidarity with the families of the victims.

The subject of the meeting, scheduled before the crimes occurred, was the delays in the payment of unemployment insurance to more than 140 fishermen in the municipality who have access to the benefit. The insurance is equivalent to a minimum monthly salary paid by the federal government during the period when fishing activity is prohibited in order to help preserve the reproduction of the fish. 

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About a hundred people showed up at the sports gym - according to the organizers, they were all fishing families. Fireworks greeted the arrival of the federal deputy. The coordinator of the Assembly of God in Atalaia do Norte, Edmar Chagas, told Agência Pública that he was responsible for organizing the meeting.

Bruno and Dom were not mentioned by name during the meeting, which lasted more than an hour. The president of Fetape (Federation of Fishing and Aquaculture Workers of the Amazon), which brings together 35 entities, including unions, associations, and colonies of fishermen in the state, João Vieira da Silva, linked to the fishermen's colony of the neighboring city of Benjamin Constant, said into the microphone that at that moment he saw "sadness on the faces of each fisherman".

Federal Deputy Silas Câmara at the fishermen's event. Image by José Medeiros. Brazil, 2022.

João Vieira da Silva, president of Fetape (Federation of Fishing and Aquaculture Workers of Amazonas) and president of the Fishermen and Fisherwomen Colony of Benjamin Constant. Image by José Medeiros. Brazil, 2022.

Roberto Pereira da Costa, president of the Fishermen's Colony of Atalaia do Norte. Image by José Medeiros. Brazil, 2022.

Event with fishermen in the sports court of Atalaia do Norte brought together more than 100 families. Image by José Medeiros. Brazil, 2022.