US News ‘Uncontacted’ Amazon Tribe Members Are Reported Killed in Brazil

16:45  11 september  2017
16:45  11 september  2017 Source:   The New York Times

Authorities: Gold miners at a bar bragged about slaughtering members of a reclusive Brazilian tribe

  Authorities: Gold miners at a bar bragged about slaughtering members of a reclusive Brazilian tribe Advocates for stronger protective measures say the killing is evidence that the government isn't doing enough to safeguard indigenous people.The garimpeiros had bragged that they’d come across members of a reclusive, uncontacted Amazonian tribe near Brazil’s border with Peru and Colombia, authorities say.

— A still from the new footage of an uncontacted Amazon tribe in Brazil . Many were killed or died from disease. However some managed to flee deeper into the forest. The uncontacted Indians living here today may be descended from these people.

Members of an uncontacted tribe in Brazil in 2008. Indigenous groups in the Amazon are under increasing threat. The first reported killing of uncontacted Indians in the region occurred in February, and that case is still open.

Uncontacted Amazon tribe members© AP Uncontacted Amazon tribe members SÃO PAULO, Brazil — They were members of an uncontacted tribe gathering eggs along the river in a remote part of the Amazon. Then, it appears, they had the bad luck of running into gold miners.

Now, federal prosecutors in Brazil have opened an investigation into the reported massacre of about 10 members of the tribe, the latest evidence that threats to endangered indigenous groups are on the rise in the country.

The Brazilian agency on indigenous affairs, Funai, said it had lodged a complaint with the prosecutor’s office in the state of Amazonas after the gold miners went to a bar in a near the border with Colombia, and bragged about the killings. They brandished a hand-carved paddle that they said had come from the tribe, the agency said.

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Brazilian authorities are investigating reports about 10 members of an uncontacted Amazon tribe were killed in a massacre after gold miners were heard 'boasting' of the deaths in a bar.

So 10 people were killed and possibly loads of culture destroyed because people wanted more shiny rocks. > warned that given the small sizes of the uncontacted Amazon tribes , this latest episode could mean that a significant percentage of a remote ethnic group was wiped out.

“It was crude bar talk,” said Leila Silvia Burger Sotto-Maior, Funai’s coordinator for uncontacted and recently contacted tribes. “They even bragged about cutting up the bodies and throwing them in the river.”

The miners, she said, claimed that “they had to kill them or be killed.”

Ms. Sotto-Maior said the killings were reported to have taken place last month. The indigenous affairs bureau conducted some initial interviews in the town and then took the case to the police.

“There is a lot of evidence, but it needs to be proven,” she said.

The prosecutor in charge of the case, Pablo Luz de Beltrand, confirmed that an investigation had begun, but said he could not discuss the details of the case while it was underway. He said the episode was alleged to have occurred in the Javari Valley — the second-largest indigenous reserve in Brazil — in the remote west.

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Brazil . Members of an uncontacted tribe encountered in the Brazilian state of Acre in 2009. In the same month a further 30 Taromenane and 10 loggers were killed in conflicts according to leader Iki Ima Omene (of ^ "Photos: Uncontacted Amazon tribes documented for first time in Colombia".

Currently, there are about 100 of these uncontacted tribes on record, but it possible that still others have yet to be discovered. A local guide was recently killed by tribe members after leading tourists close to their camp. There have been reports in the past year of Mashco- Piro members asking

“We are following up, but the territories are big and access is limited,” Mr. Beltrand said. “These tribes are uncontacted — even Funai has only sporadic information about them. So it’s difficult work that requires all government departments working together.”

Mr. Beltrand said it was the second such episode that he was investigating this year. The first reported killing of uncontacted Indians in the region occurred in February, and that case is still open. “It was the first time that we’d had this kind of case in this region,” he said in a telephone interview. “It’s not something that was happening before.”

Survival International, a global indigenous rights group, warned that given the small sizes of the uncontacted Amazon tribes, this latest episode could mean that a significant percentage of a remote ethnic group was wiped out.

“If the investigation confirms the reports, it will be yet another genocidal massacre resulting directly from the Brazilian government’s failure to protect isolated tribes — something that is guaranteed in the Constitution,” said Sarah Shenker, a senior campaigner with the rights group.

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Members of an isolated Amazonian tribe have made contact with outsiders for the first time, and the Newser reports that the tribespeople agreed to letting scientists treat them with medicine. Mashco-Piro Photo Release: Uncontacted Amazon Tribe Had Killed Photographer's Guide; Peru

COPS in Brazil are investigating claims ten members of a remote Amazonian tribe were hacked to death by ruthless gold miners intent on seizing their land. The first reported killing of uncontacted Indians in the region occurred in February.

Under Brazil’s president, Michel Temer, funding for indigenous affairs has been slashed. In April, Funai closed five of the 19 bases that it uses to monitor and protect isolated tribes, and reduced staffing at others. The bases are used to prevent invasions by loggers and miners and to communicate with recently contacted tribes.

Three of those bases were in the Javari Valley, which is known as the Uncontacted Frontier and is believed to be home to more uncontacted tribes than anywhere else on Earth. Approximately 20 of the 103 uncontacted tribes registered in Brazil are in the Valley.

“We had problems with previous governments, but not like this,” said Ms. Sotto-Maior, the Funai coordinator.

Her agency’s budget this year for the uncontacted tribes department was just two million reais, or about $650,000, down from 7.5 million reais in 2014. “What can I do with two million reais?” she said.

President Temer, who is deeply unpopular, has sought support from powerful agricultural, ranching and mining lobbies to push economic changes through Congress and shelter him from a corruption investigation. Last month, the lower house of Congress voted to spare him from standing trial for corruption in the Supreme Court, but only after the president doled out jobs and agreed to a series of concessions, many of which affected longstanding deforestation and land-rights regulations.

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Members of an uncontacted tribe scramble to defend their settlement near the Xinane River in Brazil near the border with Peru as a plane flies over. WATCH: Journey with author Scott Wallace deep into the Amazon rain forest in search of one of the last uncontacted tribes on Earth.

Brazil ’s Amazon is home to more uncontacted tribes than anywhere in the world. The last ones. Some uncontacted tribes are tragically down to their very last members . In the past, many ranchers have used gunmen to kill uncontacted Indians in Rondônia.

A decree by Mr. Temer that opened up a large reserve in the Amazon to mining prompted an international outcry. After a judge blocked the decree, the government announced that it would revise its decision, but critics are wary.

With land disputes on the rise in many remote areas of Brazil, indigenous groups, rural workers and land activists have all been targeted by violence. More than 50 people had been killed as of the end of July, compared with 61 in all of 2016, according to the Land Pastoral Commission.

In some cases, government or police agents have been blamed for the violence. The authorities are investigating one police raid in the Amazon region that ended with 10 activists being killed. No officers were injured.

Activists worry that the country’s indigenous groups — and especially the uncontacted tribes — are the most vulnerable when it comes to land disputes.

“When their land is protected, they thrive,” said Ms. Shenker, the rights campaigner. “When their land is invaded, they can be wiped out.”

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