Journalism from the center of the world

Bia and Alê have become accomplices in their pursuit of life in brutal times.A bond born of pain turned into friendship. FOTO: PABLO ALBARENGA/SUMAÚMA

“The popsicle lady asked my four-year old son: ‘Where’s your dad?’ And he said: ‘He died in the war.'” Beatriz Matos, the widow of Bruno Pereira, is telling this story to Alessandra Sampaio, the widow of Dom Phillips, during a meeting in Brasília where they talked for an hour. We’ve condensed the most impactful moments into this 16-minute video.

Bia and Alê lost their husbands, Bruno Pereira and Dom Phillips, in the war being waged against nature. June 5 marked one year since their brutal murder in the Javari Valley. They were executed when British journalist Dom Phillips was doing investigations for his book and Bruno Pereira, one of the most important Indigenous experts of his generation, was accompanying him in the region, which has been assailed by drug trafficking. Bia and Alê met each other during the terrible moment of anguished searches, before the bodies were found, where hours seemed like years. They now share a fight for justice, for the Indigenous peoples, and for the Amazon.

In this tender dialog, they talk about strength, fragility, hardship, pain, and about missing their husbands, while still holding on to the joy of being together – and fighting to make the most of their lives.

Reporting: Verónica Goyzueta
Spell check (Portuguese): Elvira Gago
Translation into Spanish: Meritxell Almarza
English translation: Sarah J. Johnson
Film editing: Camila Ribeiro
Images: Dani Azul e Joanna Ramos
Archival images: Gary Calton

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