New signs indicate uncontacted Amazon Indians at risk

"The uncontacted Indians of this region made worldwide headlines in February 2011."
"The uncontacted Indians of this region made worldwide headlines in February 2011."
© G. Miranda/FUNAI/Survival

A recent expedition in the western Brazilian Amazon has found new signs of uncontacted Indians, indicating that they are moving to different parts of the forest.

It is likely that growing pressures on the nearby Peruvian side of the border, including oil exploration, illegal logging and drug trafficking, are pushing the Indians further into Brazilian territory.

But the uncontacted Indians are threatened there too: drug traffickers recently invaded part of the western Brazilian Amazon, and it is feared that uncontacted Indians there may have been subjected to violence.

The invasions also threaten to bring in outside diseases, to which the uncontacted Indians have little immunity. Common diseases such as the cold or flu could kill them.

Lucas Manchineri of the Manchineri tribe said, ‘We are asking for the support of the Brazilian and Peruvian governments to intensify the control and surveillance of the area’.

The expedition was conducted by the Brazilian government’s Indian Affairs Department FUNAI, the Pro-Indian Commission of Acre state and the Indigenous Federation of the Madre de Dios in Peru, FENAMAD.

Earlier this year, Survival released aerial film footage of uncontacted Indians on the Brazil-Peru border in never-seen-before detail.

Survival is calling on the Peruvian and Brazilian governments to protect the uncontacted Indians’ land from invasions, as a matter of urgency.