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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soundoff (765 Responses)
  1. Bonita

    America has nothing good outside of Christianity. Americans stole every good thing from the Bible, but secular Americans are illiterate they have no idea where those lofty ideas of Founding Fathers came from.

    August 9, 2011 at 2:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      Whom the heck are you to judge others? Your bible says no to judge,yet,u be judged. Talk like this is bullocks. You all need to stop smelling ur own self importance stuff. This is rediculous.

      August 9, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Bonita

    Americans need to be civilized by getting some Christian education. Secular ones are too barbaric.

    August 9, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • valter

      Bonita.........fu.k you and the religion. Civilization ? ......Crusade , dark ages, ww1, ww2, korean war,vietnam war,cold war, first gulf war, second gulf war,afgan war, and hundred of small local war. So what we need teach them ? meaby how religius person abuse children ?

      August 9, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Friend from Brazil


      Have you heard about any secular or atheist molesting altar boys, raping women then being "absolved" by their sins in a group "salvation' session, or committing mass-murder in the name of "God", Jesus Christ the Savior, Allah, etc?

      August 9, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Liz

    So we have some here saying that this tribe needs christianity to be saved. Yeah sure, lets have another inquisition. Even christians who believe in the same "god" will even slaughter each other over how to worship it. What arrogance makes you think you or your MORTAL religious leaders know what "god" wants? For all you know "god" WANTS to be worshiped in different ways and have different names. Maybe your "god" likes the religion this tribe has and would be sad to see it go. For all you know, your "god" was not pleased with christianity wiping out the traditions of the tribes of south america and destroying it's history because it was seen as works of the "devil." For all you know, your "god" doesn't like being forced on people.

    August 9, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Debbie Rockelmann

      I didn't see one thing in this article referring to *converting* anyone to Christianity.

      August 9, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bonita

      South Americans are happy they were liberated from their own barbarism by Christian missinaries.

      August 9, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Liz

      According to who? You must be reading a different version of history than the rest of us, "Bonita." Maybe they'd have been happier keeping their own traditions. Maybe that's why some of us work so hard to keep those traditions alive.

      August 9, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bonita

      Liz, Most Latinos are willing Christians. Usually oppressors' religions get rejected but not Christianity. Christianity grows even in the most severe persecutions, because it's true.

      August 9, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bonita

      Liz, you won't like those traditions because those are usually things like burning widows alive or binding women's feet or burning girls' breasts or denying women and children any equal rights. Liz, what planet are you from? You don't really care for humans.

      August 9, 2011 at 2:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Liz

      They are only willing christians because their ancestors were forcibly converted so the following generations grew up in it. I know this because I know my family history. Welcome to a new perspective on your religion's history.

      August 9, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Liz

      You know something "Bonita," your handle may mean "pretty" in spanish but the things you say are really ugly and unchristian like. It's people like you that give all christians a bad name. Good christians can at least accept the fact that their religion has flaws and then work to improve upon it, whereas "christians" like you only deny it and try to hide corruption.

      August 9, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bonita

      Liz, no. You must be unfamiliar with Christians. Brainwashing is done by secularists, not by Christians. We still get imprisoned, tortured and killed because of being Christian on this side of the world, but we stick to Jesus because He is Truth and Eternal Life. Bonita is French though it's just a handpick from a name list. Secularists and atheists got denials of reality.

      August 9, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Liz

      Yeah Genius, it's the same word in Spanish, French & Italian.
      Maybe if you weren't so nasty about other people's faiths, people wouldn't want to kill, torture and imprison you.
      Right now I wouldn't mind giving you a swift kick in the rear myself! LOL
      It's an extremist mentality like yours that causes problems, not so much religion itself.

      August 9, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jahari

    Christian people are REALLY getting on God's nerves.

    August 9, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Liz

      I wouldn't doubt it. I know I wouldn't be happy with people oppressing or killing each other in my name.

      August 9, 2011 at 2:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bonita

      Christians mostly fed, liberated, educated and saved everyone on the path.

      August 9, 2011 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Liz

      And christianity killed anyone who didn't accept their kind of "help" along that path. Just because the ways of the natives don't seem to be ideal to you, doesn't mean they weren't ideal for them.

      August 9, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bonita

      @Liz: No, opposite! People got mostly killed because they converted to Christian but the spread of Christianity could not and cannot be stopped because Christianity is true. Names of religions were misused by anyone, but people always came back to the Bible to be right.

      August 9, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Liz

      "Bonita" you are a troll and I am done feeding you. Good job making all christians look like ignorant whack jobs.

      August 9, 2011 at 3:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bonita

      Liz, you are another brainwashed-American-by-liberals. You Americans are too ignorant on too many things including your own nation's history. Too many movie-going and not much reading, I guess.

      August 9, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Liz

      Oh I know history honey – believe me, I know American history. It seems the only history you know, is the history according to christianity.

      August 9, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Bonita

    Americans should stop talking about Christianity as their own. The world's Christian majority population is willing converts from the non-West. Only Christianity fed, rescued, healed, liberated and educated mankind properly. America should glory in their Christian past since it made America great, although non-believing Americans are ruining the nation lately.

    August 9, 2011 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Except that that's wrong, and America is (or, I guess, was, until fundie fascists like you took it over) a secular nation.

      August 9, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bonita

      America has exclusive Christian heritage just like your name, John.

      August 9, 2011 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Liz

      Sorry "Bonita" but I disagree with your assessment. Read up on a little more history and you will see that christianity was NOT the only religion to "feed, rescue, heal, liberate and educate mankind 'properly'," it only did so in the christian way, which is not the proper way for everyone – just christians.
      Also, there are many who would argue that "believing" americans, with their staunch stand against science, are the ones who are a detriment to our country and the education of our children. Also, what made America great is freedom of
      religion (which includes freedom FROM religion). If you want your religion to have respect, then you need to respect others.

      August 9, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Liz

      No "Bonita," it does NOT have exclusive christian heritage, it had exclusive Native American belief heritages that were doing great until christianity came along and forced itself on them and nearly destroyed it!

      August 9, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bonita

      Liz, you are wrong. America had zero intelligence apart from Christianity, and America(both USA and Canada) was created by Christians to spread the Christian religions.

      August 9, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Liz

      Native Americans had their OWN writing systems. They had their OWN laws. They had a knowledge of nature and the world and a wisdom of their OWN. Just because christianity did not recognize or understand it for want it was, does not mean it wasn't there!!!

      August 9, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bonita

      Liz, the Natives should be grateful it was the English who found them first. All other races would be much unkinder. The English is the best mannered. The problem of the Natives is their own laziness and incompotence. I'm Asian and I really think the Natives foolishly wasted their opportunity to be great.

      August 9, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Liz

      "The problem of the Natives is their own laziness and incompotence."

      Wow "Bonita," just wow, not only are you bat poop insane, but you are a filthy ignorant racist who is too incompetent to spell "incompetence" correctly as well!

      August 9, 2011 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Bonita

    This tribe needs modern Christian education and means of self-defense to be saved and preserved. Those who oppose are hypocrites who would not want this tribal lifestyles as their own.

    August 9, 2011 at 2:26 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Bonita

    Christianity made the world civil. I'm Asian and Europeans and Americans had nothing good except Christianity when they came.

    August 9, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • bobcat2u

      How in the world with your obviously holier than thou self make the claim that this world is civil ? Have you got your eyes closed to the fact of all the wars and persecution going on in the world ?

      August 9, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Bonita

    If you don't want your children to grow up to be this tribal people, it proves proper modern education is necessary for this tribe no matter what you claim. Only Christian missionaries care for every human's highest good and work for it. It's been always that way everywhere around the world.

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

    @Bonita, Please stop trolling!!! If you are Christian as you claim, using such a sad report as an occasion to air your empty arguments and bashing the secular world is hardly a loving way to draw people to God. I am a believer of Christ, but I think you are doing God a great disservice. If you're truly worried about the tribe's salvation, I refer you to the book of Romans Ch2, verses 12-16, included below, so please stop.

    Romans 2:12-16: "For all who have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law. For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous before God, but the doers of the law who will be justified."

    August 9, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bonita

      Stor, I need to remind illiterate Americans the Christian religion and their own past because secular Americans have no knowledge on Christianity or the US history.

      August 9, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. William Johnston

    CNN is running this too? This photo, among a few others, was published by YAHOO back in 2008 when reporting about an "un-contacted tribe" and later (a few weeks later) said the picture was a hoax. A year later YAHOO published an article about a tribe "threatened by deforestation" using the same pic and now this? I though the photo was a hoax? It is all over Yahoo right now and MANY people are making the same comment about having seen the same photo a few times reporting contradicting news in the last couple of years. This is LAME journalism.

    August 9, 2011 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • TP

      Hi William,
      Actually the pictures were initially thought to be a hoax but actually were not. The reason it was believed to be a hoax is that the media had initially reported that this tribe had been completely uknown and had no contact with the outside world, which was not actually true. They had been known about for some time and had had very limited contact with frontiersmen who had encountered them. The confusion arose because tribes like this are classified as "uncontacted" by the Brazilian government, but by uncontacted all they mean is that the tribe seeks to avoid contact with outsiders and live in isolation. It does not LITERALLY mean they have never had contact with the outside world. Some media did not understand the distinction of this definition and reported as if this tribe was completely unknown and uncontacted. But that doesn't make the pictures or the tribe itself a hoax. They really do exist and have been protected by the Brazilian government. The pictures released were not a hoax, it was just a misunderstanding of how this tribe was classified.

      August 9, 2011 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Seriously?

    Is it possible these days to look at a situation and not bring up or argue religion for once? Who cares if they're Christians, or Muslims, or Jews, or even Scientoligists. The fact is, these are human beings who are living in their own culture and for all we know, they are happy. There is nothing wrong with that. Sure, maybe modern technology could help make their lives easier, but that has nothing to do with religion. Anyone from any religion could show them how the developed world has evolved.

    August 9, 2011 at 2:45 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Claes

    They should be shot – the drug traffickers that is...

    August 9, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Amy

    this article is about indigenous tribes and drug dealing. How the comment blogs got on christianity is insane. my comment is maybe the guard post that was put there to protect the "uncontacted" (yet photographed and announced) had a part in scaring the tribe. Or maybe it alerted the drug trafficers to the previously "uncontacted" tribe.

    August 9, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Friend from Brazil

    Folks, I hate to break the news but this "God" talk is completely irrelevant. *major eye roll*

    What MATTERS is that there are PEOPLE (be them native indians or whatever) unaccounted for, probably slaughtered by narcotraffickers, who are very prevalent in the area.

    What most people here don't know is that chances are, these criminals have had aid from both Peruvian and Brazilian authorities, since they bribe their way into smuggling the drugs into the Amazon forests. And also, it's worth mentioning the very likely fact they must've had help of the members of FARC, the Colombian-rebels heavily funded by the drug trafficking business, which happen to have the sympathy of both Venezuelan President and the former Brazilian, Lula da Silva.

    The rest is all religious BS talk.

    August 9, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dear Bonita

    I am seriously sick of reading your lies about how wonderful the Christians were when they came to the Americas. The Christian conquest of the Americas was one of the most bloody and widespread genocides in world history. Here is direct text from the proclamation the Spanish conquistadors were required to read upon encountering indigenous people:

    "But if you do not do this, and maliciously make delay in it, I certify to you that, with the help of God, we shall powerfully enter into your country, and shall make war against you in all ways and manners that we can, and shall subject you to the yoke and obedience of the Church and of their highnesses; we shall take you, and your wives, and your children, and shall make slaves of them, and as such shall sell and dispose of them as their highnesses may command; and we shall take away your goods, and shall do you all the mischief and damage that we can, as to vassals who do not obey, and refuse to receive their lord, and resist and contradict him: and we protest that the deaths and losses which shall accrue from this are your fault, and not that of their highnesses, or ours, nor of these cavaliers who come with us"

    You seem to think Christianity was so successful because it was just the nicest religion, when in reality it was successful because it was one of the most merciless to those who did not convert.

    August 9, 2011 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Liz

      Thank you "Dear" for your excellent post. I think it is an important part of history to learn from so that hopefully we will not repeat it.

      August 9, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
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