|Uncontacted Indians photographed in the Brazilian Amazon near the Peruvian border, May 2008. © G. Miranda/FUNAI/Survival|
Members of one of the world’s last uncontacted tribes have been spotted and photographed from the air near the Brazil-Peru border. The photos were taken during several flights over one of the remotest parts of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil’s Acre state.
‘We did the overflight to show their houses, to show they are there, to show they exist,’ said uncontacted tribes expert José Carlos dos Reis Meirelles Júnior. Meirelles works for FUNAI, the Brazilian government’s Indian affairs department. ‘This is very important because there are some who doubt their existence.’
Meirelles says that the group’s numbers are increasing. But other uncontacted groups in the region, whose homes have been photographed from the air, are in severe danger from illegal logging in Peru. Logging is driving uncontacted tribes over the border and could lead to conflict with the estimated five hundred uncontacted Indians already living on the Brazilian side.
‘What is happening in this region [of Peru] is a monumental crime against the natural world, the tribes, the fauna and is further testimony to the complete irrationality with which we, the ‘civilised’ ones, treat the world,’ said Meirelles.
There are more than one hundred uncontacted tribes worldwide, with more than half living in either Brazil or Peru. All are in grave danger of being forced off their land, killed and decimated by new diseases. Survival has launched an urgent campaign to get their land protected, and a unique film narrated by actress Julie Christie.
Survival’s director Stephen Corry said today, ‘These pictures are further evidence that uncontacted tribes really do exist. The world needs to wake up to this, and ensure that their territory is protected in accordance with international law. Otherwise, they will soon be made extinct.’
For further information please contact Miriam Ross on (+44) (0)20 7687 8734 or email [email protected]
Act now to help uncontacted Indians
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