More evidence of uncontacted tribes fleeing

August 21, 2007

Uncontacted Indians from Peru have been fleeing across the border into Brazil and entering Asháninka territory. © David Hill/Survival

This page was created in 2007 and may contain language which is now outdated.

Further evidence of uncontacted tribes fleeing from Peru to Brazil because of illegal logging has been found by a Brazilian government official and uncontacted tribes expert.

The tribes are entering parts of the rainforest not usually used by them and they are doing so in increasing numbers. Some of them very recently appeared at a small settlement called Liberdade, making this their second appearance there in the last two months.

‘All this confirms the forced migration of uncontacted tribes from Peru to Brazil because of the presence there of illegal loggers,’ said José Carlos dos Reis Meirelles Júnior, head of the Indian Protection post near the Peru border. Mr Meirelles gathered his evidence during a trip to the headwaters of the Envira River.

Peru has some of the world’s last commercially-viable mahogany stands, growing in areas inhabited by some of the world’s last uncontacted tribes. Because of their isolation, the tribes do not have immunity to outsiders’ diseases and any form of contact with them can be fatal.

In total, there are an estimated 15 different uncontacted tribes in Peru. All of them are under threat, mainly from illegal logging and oil exploration.

Uncontacted Tribes of Peru