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. Matthew

    I am curious. Are we questioning the use of "indian," because it is seen as a North American only term for natives, or because it is incorrect to call any Native outside of the West Indies, East Indies, or India, an Indian?

    August 9, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Terry

      BRAVO Matthew.....well said...they are still Indians

      August 9, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
  2. banasy

    If the media hadn't stuck their big, fat noses where it didn't belong, this tribe would most likely be alive.
    It seems every time the media pokes their nose where it doesn't belong, people die.
    Or are acquitted of a death...

    August 9, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  3. M.CLARK

    @DIRTYSTONE. Please dont talk about republicans that way.

    August 9, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Rob Schaeffer

    Maybe they are in hiding. Seems like you would find their bodies if they were just killed by the drug traders. I agree with the comment on this being just another reason to make them legal.
    Why can't they show a closer picture or blow this one up and zoom in?

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

      Because these images were taken from over a kilometer away with the highest technology in zoom lenses. To get closer would put the tribe at risk of infectious diseases, and to blow up a picture that's already this zoomed wouldn't make the picture much clearer.

      August 9, 2011 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Bob Denero

    It looks like NightShade,Nightcrawler and Spiderman to me... I am surprised they didnt stop the drug dealers in their tracks

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

      Ok they caught me. Just hanging with my friends.

      August 9, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ousal Dove

    I downloaded the picture for closer examination. Why do the two on the outside have white faces and feet but the one in the middle has black face and feet? Hmmm, look like fake photo to me.

    Also all original peoples' of the Americas are referred to as Indians that migrated south from Alaska who believed to have crossed the land bridge. Although there is some speculation by Thor Heyerdahl that some south Americans may have crossed the Pacific in a boat ‘Kon-Tiki’.

    August 9, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • biggovt1

      @ousaldove. Actually there is no evidence as yet to prove that Native Americans descended from Polynesians. However, they did uncover evidence that Polynesians reached Chile a century or two before the Europeans. This was based on chicken bones which DNA matches chickens from Polynesia as well as some artifacts.

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

      If you google "uncontacted tribes in brazil" you can see the actual video footage of these and others in the tribe.

      August 9, 2011 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Spiderman

    How did they get that picture of me.

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

      Come on man, I am ALWAYS taking pictures of you for J.J.

      August 9, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Nature's Awe

    These people and their ways were doomed the moment you announced their existance. If not the drug smugglers, then it will be missionaries who will hunt them down only to expose them to the Church and change their ways. Their life will never be the same.....unless of course, they have succeeded in destroying all who trespass and are dining on their bones as we speak.

    August 9, 2011 at 12:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. luis

    Unfortunately, it is the same old story of human greed destroying families and communities. What the Amazon tribes are experiencing is exactly what's wrong with the world. If you, as a human being, are unable to see the Amazon native's plight in yourself, then all hope is lost for the human race. If human beings don't wake up to what corporate greed and corrupt governments are doing to honest working class families then don't be surprised if you find yourself in the same situation as the Amazon natives.

    August 9, 2011 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Lindsay

    Is that Spiderman?

    August 9, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Chris H

    I'm sorry, but these people are red. The only thing I can think of is that the owners of Kool-Aid kidnapped a few of these people and are probably feeding them like crazy. I would suggest investigating Kool-Aid first then blame the drug traffickers

    August 9, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Lance

    so...let me get this straight....someone found an uncontacted tribe...posted pics of them worldwide...and some bad people found them....

    so yeah...next time you find something untouched...how about you keep it a secret so it can stay that way.....

    August 9, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Karnold

    just imagine, if prohabition was gone, this would have never happened.

    another example of wasted money,lives,and time on a war that has had 0 results.

    August 9, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Dave

    Hey the guy on the right is SpiderMan!

    August 9, 2011 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  15. David

    Has it never occurred to anyone that the perfect way for drug smugglers to escape detection is to pose as a protected "uncontacted" tribe? It is illegal to bother them. They probably have a tunnel system in and out. I bet any drug laws don't apply to an "uncontacted" society.

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