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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  1. Robert Miller

    I live in Peru and lived in the Peruvian jungle for 2 years. My wife is from that area and her mother is not many generations removed from the tribe her family came from. My father-in-law is a missionary to tribes in that area also. I state this to say that I know something about the area and jungle and "nativos" (what we call Indians here in Peru). What I can tell you is that the hype over the non-contacted tribe being "lost" is just that,..hype. They area not lost...they just moved. If there were some 'drug runners' in the area the natives would leave the area and go somewhere else (in this case apparently after shooting some arrows at them). Don't worry that the natives got mowed down by the drug runners. No drug runner would risk following natives into the bush to fight because even with a machine gun they know they would be at a huge disadvantage. And this isn't an area where the narcos set up pits to make the coca paste. This is lowlands and the coca grows higher up. The narcos are just transporting through this area and would have no reason to stick around. One more thing, if you ever see news reports of how the Amazon is dying and the rivers are drying up, don't believe it. The rivers go up and down all the time depending on the rain in the mountains and the seasons. I have seen such bogus reports put out by the eco liars but I actually lived there and can tell you it is a bunch of bull. It still rains in the Andes and the jungle and if you cut down a tree 3 more grow back in the same area in a few months. Don't be swayed by the propaganda of the NGO's that have hidden agendas.

    August 9, 2011 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • FT

      are you a poacher or drug trafficker?

      August 9, 2011 at 9:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Robert Miller

      Ha ha. No I am not a drug trafficker or a poacher. The closest I have come to drugs is making myself a cup of "mate de coca" (Coca leaf tea). Here in Peru you can buy the leaves whole or ground up in a tea bag just like Liptons. The people from the mountains who chew the leaves just like Americans chew tobacco swear it gives them strength to work harder among other properties but I have never noticed any affect. The leaves without being processed are not a drug by the way.

      As far as poaching I can't think of anything there to poach. If you wanted to go cut down some mahogany trees to sell you would have to go way out in the jungle and find the trees and haul all that wood over rugged terrain by hand. Once you paid the workers and the licensed forestry companies for the fake permits and the bribes to the corrupt Natural Resources department there would not be much profit.

      "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.

      This story is pure propaganda by this guy Stephen Corry to gain attention and probably donations for his organization. Drug runners have no reason to "wipe out" indians and couldn't if they wanted to. The indian mentality is to constantly think that someone is trying to kill them because that is how their relations are with other tribes. Thus, they are always ready to kill any outsider.

      My father-in-law brought an indian down from the reserve to have a tumor removed. The guy constantly thought my father-in-law was trying to kill him and threatened to kill his whole family as they slept. (so my in-laws hid all the kitchen knives and the souvenir spears that were hanging on the wall) Thankfully the interpreter convinced him that my father-in-law was only trying to help and they weren't slaughtered.

      A good representation of what the indians are like is the the movie "The point of the Spear". They can run through the jungle as ease, move their whole tribe on a moments notice, and will cut you up like you were a wild pig without blinking. How and why would drug carriers who are just trying to carry their cargo through the territory as fast as possible wipe out the indians? Pure propaganda to get attention.

      August 10, 2011 at 8:09 am | Report abuse |
  2. TribeMember

    Leave us alone!

    August 9, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  3. MaLadd

    Its not the drug traffickers that is wiping the indios out, its every greedy miner, farmer, rancher and wannabe landowner that doing this...drug trafficers actually try to make friends with locals to help ease the transportation and marketing needs of their business. You idiots that take the stuff, you helped murder a child, a family and a people....I hope your noses fall off.

    August 9, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bosko

      All of you dopeheads can really be proud of yourselves now. Good work. Keep it up. Blame the DEA instead of your own POS selves.

      August 10, 2011 at 1:44 am | Report abuse |
  4. psion

    where did my reply to Barbara go! =) I am sure she cannot wait to read it!

    August 9, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
  5. psion

    I know I haven't convinced you, but I feel better anyway. If you are able to form your own opinions instead of blindly following authority, you will find it easy to research the effects of alcohol prohibition in America and other regions of the world. Decriminalization of drug use in the Netherlands and NYC (for past decade!). The shift to educate and treat medically people who develop addictions in many countries and States in our Union has consistently shown that this is a far superior method of reducing abuses and improving health than simply incarcerating people. Please broaden your horizons and if you are even curiouser feel free to analyze this statement: If you've ever eaten ocean fish at a restaurant you killed people (dolphins). An example of an emerging ethical understanding of our self-aware fellows here on Earth. Some people 200 years ago understood that owning humans was bad, and some even understood that cutting all the trees down might be detrimental to the environment. Humanity is growing up madam, are you coming with us or staying behind?

    August 9, 2011 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. psion

    Argh! Lol well lost half of that in my copy/cut/paste attempts to get my comments posted, I can only guess that having the opinion that Barbara's statement was ignorant is a no-no...

    August 9, 2011 at 10:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • psion

      Oh whatever lol, wasn't the first diatribe lost to the ether, certainly won't be the last....

      August 9, 2011 at 10:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Carlos Marin

    The root of the problem is not the drug traffickers. Illegal drug trafficking is one of the many deadly consequences of prohibition. Alcohol does not need to be smuggled because it's legal.

    August 9, 2011 at 10:33 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Jbee

    Yeah, blame it on the drug traffickers – most likely the hired hands of an OPEC interest.

    August 10, 2011 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
  9. Scarborough

    That is such sad thing to happen. I can't believe this group lived undetected until this year. Perhaps they are "primitive" but they have no skills to join modern life. These people are so vulnerable. However, they also must have knowledge which has been lost to groups which have abandoned life in the forest. We can blame all sorts of things, Christianity, modern life and many other things, but we should bear in mind these people have survived for thousands of years on the skills and knowledge passed on from one generation to the next. Most of all they are part of the human family and deserve our protection. Sadly that seems to be missing.

    August 10, 2011 at 12:05 am | Report abuse |
  10. Naomi

    This tribe needs Christianity and modern literacy education with Bibles to be civil and reach the humanity's highest potentials in intelligence and capacity. They need to be given modern means to defend themselves from all sorts of villains. Christian missionaries fed, healed, educated, liberated, rescued, strengthened and saved people all over the world. Christianity made the world civil. The Western Civilization is nothing without Christianity.

    August 10, 2011 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Bob

      The last thing they need is to have Christianity (or any other religion) imposed upon them. They need to be left alone, and if that is impossible then we need to study their culture, language, their way of life and their religion and accept them for who they are. Civilizations that try to "educate" other civilizations only serve to hasten their demise.

      August 10, 2011 at 2:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe of Arch

      Send in the Holy Crusaders then! There can be only one GOD! The uncivilized must be cleansed. It's time for them to take a bath. Ha ha.

      August 10, 2011 at 5:02 am | Report abuse |
  11. The Brain

    Same fake indians in the same fake tribe.

    August 10, 2011 at 12:45 am | Report abuse |
  12. Naomi

    This tribe needs modern education, the best education available. Those who disagree should send their kids there so they'll grow to be like this tribal people and never come out. No hypocricy.

    August 10, 2011 at 12:46 am | Report abuse |
  13. drstanley

    Just another example of the destructive policies of one Henry Kissinger.
    Drugs could be legalized and taxed but no Henry can't let The Bad Guys would lose their cash cow.
    He also gave nuclear weapons to Pakistan and now they blackmail us.
    Why do you think Iran gives all that money to Pakistan?
    Muslim generosity? I used to think Hitler was the worst man who ever lived but when Man's run is over
    the insects will probably have Henry Kissinger to thank.

    August 10, 2011 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
  14. Confused

    Err... is it only me or are those tribes people wearing spider-man look alike outfit.

    Anyway, perhaps its the sight/noise of the airplane/helicopter that scare away these people when the authority first taken this aerial photo shot. Or perhaps they have gone on a wild goose chase to find the flying god/thingy they just witnessed on the sky.....

    August 10, 2011 at 2:26 am | Report abuse |
  15. Delutional

    This tribe people may not be un-contacted after all, judging from their body painting, they may have already contacted the outside world when they watched the spiderman movie which inspired their colorful "outfit".....

    August 10, 2011 at 2:35 am | Report abuse |
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