Government team investigates uncontacted tribes

June 18, 2008

One of the photos of uncontacted Indians, in Brazil, that spurred the Peruvian government into action. © G. Miranda/FUNAI/Survival, 2008

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Spurred into action by a wave of international protest, a Peruvian government team is currently in a remote part of the Amazon investigating the plight of uncontacted Indians.

The mission is the Peruvian government’s response to the publication of unique photos of an uncontacted tribe in Brazil, near the Peruvian border, which made world headlines.

Although the Indians photographed by the Brazilian government appear to live permanently inside Brazil, there has been mounting concern at the impact of widespread illegal logging in Peru on the isolated Indians living along the Peru-Brazil border.

There are an estimated 500 uncontacted Indians in the region. Brazilian officials have previously reported that isolated Peruvian Indians have been fleeing over the border into Brazil to escape the loggers’ incursions into their territory.

More than 1,300 people around the world have written letters to the Peruvian government urging them to stop the illegal logging. Some officials charged with protecting the remote region are believed to be implicated in the logging themselves.

The head of Peru’s Indian Affairs department, DGPOA, who sent the team into the Amazon, told Survival, ‘I want to congratulate your organisation on its concern and struggle for the protection of uncontacted tribes.’

Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said today, ‘The fact that the Peruvian authorities have sent a team to the Amazon is a real testament to the power that ordinary people around the world have to push governments into action. But we are going to be watching the outcome very closely indeed to make sure it’s not simply a whitewash.’

For further information please contact Miriam Ross on (44) (0)20 7687 8734 or (44) (0)7504 543 367 or email [email protected]

Watch Survival’s short film ‘Uncontacted Tribes

Uncontacted Tribes of Peru