His widow Alessandra Sampaio, sister Sian, brother Gareth, and brother-in-law Paul Sherwood attended the Guardian writer’s funeral in Niteroi near Rio de Janeiro today.
Ms Sampaio was pictured crying and being comforted by her husband’s sister Sian, who told reporters that the couple had been planning to adopt two Brazilian children.
“Today, Dom will be cremated in the country he loved, his chosen home,” his wife Ms Sampaio said.
“He was a very special person not only for defending what he believed in as a professional but also for having a huge heart and great love for humanity.”
The 57-year-old, who had wrote regularly for numerous publications, including the Washington Post and the New York Times, had been researching a book – “How to Save the Amazon” – on the trip with Pereira, a former head of isolated and recently contacted tribes at federal indigenous affairs agency Funai, when they went missing in the remote Javari Valley on 5 June.
Following a gruelling search by Brazil’s police, the remains of Phillips and Pereira were recovered from a grave in the jungle after fisherman Amarildo da Costa, who confessed to killing the pair, led them there.
Phillips’ memorial happened two days after Pereira’s funeral, which was attended by indigenous peoples who paid their respects with song and dance.
The permimeter of the cemetary where Phillips’ funeral was held was lined with protesters holding signs reading “Who ordered to kill Dom and Bruno?”
Police said earlier this month that their investigation suggested that more individuals were involved beyond Costa but that they were likely to have acted alone, with no bosses behind the crime. That theory was challenged by indigenous group Univaja.
But the journalist’s family said they will keep following the investigation and demanding justice.
“He was killed because he tried to tell the world what was happening to the rainforest and its inhabitants,” Sian said.
It comes just over a week after authorities arrested a third suspect in relation to the deaths of the two men.
Police said last Saturday that Jefferson da Silva Lima, known as Pelado da Dinha, had turned himself in at the police station in the far western town of Atalaia do Norte.
Two other men are already in custody for alleged involvement in the killings: Amarildo Oliveira, known as Pelado, and his brother, Oseney de Oliveira, known as Dos Santos.