Government discovers evidence of an uncontacted tribe

September 17, 2009

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Peru’s Indigenous Affairs Department, INDEPA, has discovered evidence of an uncontacted tribe in the remote Peruvian Amazon.
The evidence, including thirty-eight abandoned fishing huts, fires, and food remains, was collected during a visit to the Las Piedras River in south-east Peru by an INDEPA team in mid-August.
Peru’s president, Alan Garcia, has denied the existence of such tribes, saying they have been ‘invented’ by environmentalists opposed to oil exploration.
INDEPA’s president, Mayta Cápac Alatrista, called it ‘one of the most important discoveries in recent years’, although the existence of uncontacted tribes in that region of Peru is already well-known. A number of people, including a Survival researcher and others from the local Indigenous organisation FENAMAD, have visited the region and collected a great deal of evidence, including video footage, proving the Indians’ existence.
INDEPA estimates the number of uncontacted people who had been living in the huts to be between 130 and 150. The tribe, often known as the Mashco-Piro, is nomadic and one of an estimated fifteen uncontacted Indian groups in Peru.
Survival is lobbying INDEPA, Garcia and Peru’s government to recognise the existence of all Peru’s uncontacted tribes, grant them land rights, and respect their wish to live without contact.

See a photo of the fishing huts and watch a video (in Spanish) of the discovery.

Uncontacted Tribes of Peru