Report: Amazon tribe may have fallen victim to drug traffickers
Aerial images of the uncontacted tribe in Brazil's Amazon rain forest were released in February.
August 9th, 2011
07:32 AM ET

Report: Amazon tribe may have fallen victim to drug traffickers

Suspected Peruvian drug traffickers have destroyed a guard post protecting a recently discovered indigenous tribe in Brazil's Amazon rain forest, the aid group Survival International reports.

Aerial film and still images of the tribe were first shown to the world in February. The Brazilian government's National Indian Foundation established the guard station near the tribe's territory along Brazil's border with Peru to protect the Indians from outsiders.

Survival International said Monday that Brazilian authorities can now find no sign of the tribe.

"We think the Peruvians made the Indians flee. ... We are more worried than ever. This situation could be one of the biggest blows we have ever seen in the protection of uncontacted Indians in recent decades. It’s a catastrophe," Carlos Travassos, the head of Brazil's isolated Indians department, said in a Survival International statement.

Survival International reports the tribe's lands are near the Envira River, which Peruvian cocaine smugglers reportedly use as a route into Brazil.

Brazilian authorities report groups of men armed with machine guns and rifles are in the nearby forest, according to the aid group.

Authorities had recovered a drug trafficker's rucksack with a broken Indian arrow in it, Survival International reported.

"This is extremely distressing news. There is no knowing how many tribal peoples the drug trade has wiped out in the past, but all possible measures should be taken to stop it happening again. The world’s attention should be on these uncontacted Indians, just as it was at the beginning of this year when they were first captured on film," Survival International Director Stephen Corry said in a statement.

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Filed under: Brazil • World
soundoff (765 Responses)
  1. Marvel vs Capcom 3

    This pic is of my Marvel vs Capcom team: Deadpool, She-Hulk and Spider-Man!

    August 9, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  2. PCola Vet

    Really sad. These people were just living their lives, oblivious to the chaotic outside world, and then some azz hole in a chopper takes pics and bammo, their lives are over. Good job media, way to destory one of the worlds RAREST treasures.

    August 9, 2011 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Slim_Sammy

    This whole string of statement is funny: "almost certainly a fake. should check the facts before posting...". In other words, they probably maybe might not exist so anyone who says they do is wrong.

    August 9, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Alexis

    This is not a undiscovered tribe just a uncontacted one, the fake was a few months ago they presented it as a undiscovered one. Judging from this picture however and some of the anthropology classes I have taken it would seem they have war paint on. This tribe only paints themselves during war, if it is the tribe that I am thinking of, so they are fearful of something in the area.

    August 9, 2011 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Juwarlo

      For all you lazy people, Indians are indigenous people of the Americas...this would in fact include North America, Central America...and yes, South America. And the fact that the media is hyping this up isn't helping the situation. Leave the tribe alone and let them live their life. They've survived this long with no outside resources...pretty sure they can handle themselves.

      August 9, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • amused13

      I wonder how well "they will handle themselves" when the drug dealers go -callin' with their moder weaponry against the tribe's arrows and spears. Not to mention diseases they may never have been exposed to. It IS newsworthy AND a grace concern.

      August 9, 2011 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Juwarlo you honestly think they have never seen these drug dealers or people with modern weaponry before? Obviously this argument will never go anywhere because you and I can't prove it, but the jungle has been used to traffic drugs for at least 40 years. They have "war paint" on according to somebody that took "some anthropology classes" so they must have a reason for it, and it's probably something they have worn before because of similar threats. My guess is that they have survived because they know the jungle extremely well and can handle themselves.

      August 9, 2011 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Scott

    Do we really still call these people "Indians"?

    August 9, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bryant

      Exactly. We are Native Americans. Indians are from India

      August 9, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Delametrius

      Recent reference books have defined the term Indian as synonymous with aboriginal or a native of the Americas.

      August 9, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Terry

      Yes we do!!!!!!!!!!! They are still God's children idiot.

      August 9, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • amused13

      Definition: Of or relating to the indigenous peoples of the Americas. It is not pejorative.

      August 9, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  6. willie

    I don't think they are Indians...

    August 9, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • amused13

      fine. Enjoy being wrong.

      August 9, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  7. 808mbp

    Yet another reason why drugs should be legal, all this time, money and effort not to mention violence over the stuff. Make it legal and spend a fraction of that on rehab for people that come to their senses. If someone is going to do drugs, they will, there isn't much anyone can do to stop it. Stop spending all our tax dollars on fighting the inevitable and see how much less violence comes from it.

    August 9, 2011 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • James

      One wonders though if suddenly all the drug traffickers were legitimate business men (which legalize drugs would make them) would they really give up their way of successfully doing business?

      August 9, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  8. TEJ

    Editor – please check your facts, the tribe is in the amazon in South America...Why are they called Indians? Heave they been studied or does this writer know something that is nto stated in the article?

    August 9, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Internet

      Dear Reader: please use google before you make a fool of yourself. It's one of my best features. Don't worry, this time I did the work for you:

      August 9, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  9. kilmoturtles

    What the hell are they!?? They look like X-men characters.

    August 9, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Terry

      Hey aren't you related to WICK? Wow incest must be rampant in your family!!!

      August 9, 2011 at 12:36 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mike

    Why are these people called indians? Shouldn't they be Preuvian, Amazonian or Brazilian natives?

    August 9, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. WICK


    August 9, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Terry

      Your ignorant!!!!! I guess DUMBA55 still has living relatives.

      August 9, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Seb

    The world needs to change, the war on drugs in losing

    August 9, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Perfesser Firefly

    Was gonna post a comment here, but I see this story has already reached its "Godwin's Law" tipping point, so to speak.

    Look it up.

    August 9, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • amused13

      that AND abortion. What law is when abortion gets in the mix?!

      August 9, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  14. shonner

    It's amazing how stupid humans are.

    August 9, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Chris

    Once again a problem that could have been easily avoided of you weaklings that need drugs would stop using them. Don't say that legalizing is the answer because it's not. The only answer is for you to stop being weak and using drugs in the first place.

    August 9, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • bryan

      Chris, while you are obvious troll.
      That statement is so hyocritical.
      How about you stop using caffeine, nicotine and alcohol.

      However you enjoy being a hypocrite and denying grown, informed, consenting adults from making a choice that effects the bodies nature gave them.
      can i get a "w00t. w00t" for denying people freedom of choice!

      August 9, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Hi Bryan,

      I don't drink alcohol or coffee and I don't smoke (truly I don't). So quite truthfully I'm not being hypocritical about that.

      Thanks for trying though!

      August 9, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • amused13

      Damn! Where's my twinkie?!! i NEED a twinkie!!! Maybe I should rob a bank so I can get a twinkie!!!! Leagalize pot and the world will come to an end from the rash if twinkie thefts!! Ya dope. Hey! Thats a pun! hahahahahaha. Ya know; they have this car?! IT RUNS ON WATER MAN!!! snicker snicker snicker!

      August 9, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rebecca

      I hear ya, Chris! I couldn't agree more!

      August 9, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sam27

      I totally agree with you Chris. I live in Texas and I recently attended a meeting in which the American military and American detectives stated that about 1,000 people are killed each month in Mexico due to the drug trade. They also stated that any American that buys weed or any kind of drugs, coming from Mexico is responsible and has a hand in the killing of those people. The violence and deaths are escalating and if this pace keeps up, our military will have to go and fight this drug war financed by American drug addicts.

      August 9, 2011 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
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