Concern over uncontacted tribes fleeing loggers

An Asháninka woman. The flight of uncontacted Indians from Peru to Brazil is causing confrontations with the Asháninka.
An Asháninka woman. The flight of uncontacted Indians from Peru to Brazil is causing confrontations with the Asháninka.
© David Hill/Survival

A group of indigenous and other organisations have written an urgent letter highlighting how illegal loggers in Peru are forcing uncontacted tribes to flee across the border into Brazil.

The loggers’ invasion ‘is leading to the displacement and forced migration of uncontacted tribes into Brazil, causing confrontations with local Asháninka, Manchineri, Kashinahua, Culina and Yaminahua groups,’ the letter reads.

‘We want to express our concern about the lack of attention to our complaints, made over more than a decade, about the invasion by Peruvian loggers of the Isconahua, Murunahua, Mashco-Piro and Madre de Dios indigenous reserves in Peru, and the Sierra del Divisor National Park and Kampa Indigenous Reserve in Brazil.’

Illegal logging, along with oil and gas exploration, is one of several major threats to Peru's uncontacted tribes. Any form of contact with them could be fatal because they do not have any immunity to outsiders' diseases.

Read the letter (in Spanish)