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. Barry

    for those asking "why are they called Indians".....not only North American tribes are called "indians". South American indigenous people are also called Indians. That is like asking why are South Asian's called "Indians"...jeez

    August 9, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. David

    I wonder if space aliens have labeled us as "uncontacted" and have a ban from sharing any technology with us that could change our way of life.... and cure what is to us, incurable.

    August 9, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
  3. José Bonilla

    It is a complete shame, just imagine the terror of this people as they faced this heavily armed heartless criminals, the feeling of powerlessness, I really hope that some of them made it to the forest in to hiding.

    August 9, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ashley

      have we forgotten that most indigenous tribes have been wiped out and displaced not by drug traffickers but by big businesses and the countries governments themselves. yes the traffickers could be responsible this time around, but dont put all the blame on them.

      August 9, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thereisnogod

      Agree with Ashley. I am also going to blame the drug addicts here in the USA and around the world. All the teenage pot heads, all the Wall Street Coke heads and all the crack heads everywhere. Stop using drugs and the dealers and traffickers will go out of business.

      August 9, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Dennis

    dude on right looks like spiderman

    August 9, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Beezy


      August 9, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • sane

      Grow up.

      August 9, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cory

      that's a lot funnier than it should be.

      August 9, 2011 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • wkdklwn

      lmao!! sad story but i had the same thought too!

      August 9, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • spiderman

      @ sane; Get a sense of humor.

      August 9, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  5. matt volkel

    If they can't be effectively enforced then the drug laws should be abolished. Legalize it and tax the hell out of it. Government has always failed in it's attempts to protect us from ourselves but is VERY effective at taxation.

    August 9, 2011 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • SammieB

      Are you for real? That will do absolutely nothing. In fact, it will make drug dealing, shootings and altogether crime more prevalent if they are competing for the "best deal."

      August 9, 2011 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ashley

      sammie b.......ur an idiot, the crime level would go down significantly u dummy. they dont want to legalize it because the people trying to stop it are funded 90 billion a year to do so......ask yourself if you'd give up control of that kind of budget plan.....prob. not because your salary is prob. $250,000++++++. think realistic....the crime comes from black market drug deals...if everything is legit you cant go wrong and u can make money off of it......basically people are always gonna do drugs because they always have (ie.history)....millions turn 16 everyday, thats millions of new experimenters every day u do the math

      August 9, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thereisnogod

      More crime really? When was the last time someone got wiped off over a tobacco territory dispute?
      Liquor stores sell all brands of tobacco no problem.

      August 9, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Thereisnogod

      Wait, wait...Are you the SamB from America's Got Talent? Because that would explain a lot.

      August 9, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Major

    Why is a lost tribesman dressed like Spider-Man?

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

      hes not dressed like spider man you idiot. hes panted like spider man. 😛

      August 9, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Tammy Downs

    I don't like this.

    August 9, 2011 at 1:06 pm | Report abuse |
  8. David

    @avn – Sorry, but China isn't primarily any religion. Most people in China who pracice a religion. However, the government is officially athiest. The Cultural Revolution of the 60's led to religions being eliminated.

    August 9, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Chris

    The people in the photo look a lot like the people in this other story that later turned out to be a hoax.

    August 9, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Toxigal

      It was not a hoax.

      August 9, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  10. nepawoods

    This is our "war on drugs" at work, nothing more. Only through prohibition could something that grows like a weed be turned into billions in profit to arm dangerous criminals.

    August 9, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Crack

    Oh well, I hope they simply fled and didn't get killed. They shall inherit the earth when the rest of us morons have blown each other away... in the near future.

    August 9, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  12. OG

    The original bloods

    August 9, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Hempseed57

    They probably used guns supplied by the A.T.F. but we won't worry about that.

    August 9, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Carlos

    How do drug traffickers go thru a guard post. I know there are probably only about 3 to 5 of them at this post, but what about distress calls for help? Did they not have enough time to make one? I dont know, sounds fishy. Maybe they moved on there own because of fearing these people and relocated to a safe zone....I dont know, i hope they are okay.

    August 9, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  15. innercityvoice

    ? what are they looking at,if the camera was out of sight?

    August 9, 2011 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Courtney

      Uh, probably the fact that there's a large floating metal object in the sky?

      August 9, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
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