Uncontacted tribes report is 100 days late

October 1, 2008

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One hundred days after Peru’s government promised to report on the impact of illegal logging on uncontacted Indians in the remote Amazon, no report has been made public.

The promise was made after revelations that uncontacted Indians from Peru are fleeing into Brazil to escape the logging devastating their territories. The revelations were accompanied by extraordinary photos of an uncontacted tribe in Brazil – considered to be in danger if Indians continue to flee from Peru.

The government responded by sending a team to investigate. On June 23 a government spokesperson was reported by a major Peruvian newspaper, El Comercio, saying that a report on the team’s investigation would be ‘presented in the next few days.’ That did not happen.

A fortnight ago arrows belonging to uncontacted Indians fleeing from Peru were recovered by José Carlos Meirelles, head of an observation post run by the Brazilian government’s Department of Indian Affairs (FUNAI).  Earlier this year houses belonging to the refugee Indians, five kilometres into Brazil, were photographed.

Evidence that illegal logging is taking place in the Ucayali region of Peru has been collected by FUNAI officials for several years. ‘What is happening. . . 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,’ Meirelles says.

Survival International’s Director, Stephen Corry, said today, ‘You could call them the world’s first ‘uncontacted refugees’. Their land and homes are being destroyed – what choice do they have but flee into Brazil? The Peruvian government is abjectly failing in its duty to protect them.’

Watch Survival's groundbreaking film on uncontacted tribes. 

Uncontacted Tribes of Peru