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.

Post by:
Filed under: Brazil • World
soundoff (765 Responses)
  1. DP

    What reason would they have to wipe out the tribe?

    August 9, 2011 at 8:42 am | Report abuse |
    • VegasRage

      I'm guessing but maybe the tribe saw the smugglers boats on the river they live next to, deemed it a threat and shot arrows at it like they did the helicopter that took the shots for the photo above. The smugglers being ruthless and uncaring might have fired at them with guns. Conjecture on my part but that's what came to mind when I read the story.

      August 9, 2011 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
    • Meh

      they were in the way

      August 9, 2011 at 8:49 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill the Annoying

      "DP
      What reason would they have to wipe out the tribe?"

      These are from the article:
      1. Peruvian cocaine smugglers reportedly use as a route into Brazil.
      2. Authorities had recovered a drug trafficker's rucksack with a broken Indian arrow in it.

      August 9, 2011 at 8:54 am | Report abuse |
    • rooneyruleblues

      Don't worry their relatives will get to build a casino down there somewhere now.

      August 9, 2011 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
    • gerald

      Because they can. Oh, what's that ?....lets kill it. Drug runners aren't there for humaitarian reasons.

      August 9, 2011 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  2. pheelyne

    Okay, people... it is NOT a hoax. There was a misunderstanding in 2008 over "undiscovered" and "uncontacted". That was it.. and some yahoo spun a story that since someone did not use the right WORD, it was a hoax. The pics are real. They are an UNCONTACTED tribe, meaning that we knew about them but they have never been in contact with anyone from the outside world. Get real people.

    August 9, 2011 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
  3. gary

    Someone must have given them a number and traded them on the stock exchange.

    August 9, 2011 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jaybird

    Simple solution: STOP PROHIBITION NOW! .....before it's too late.

    August 9, 2011 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
    • VegasRage

      I'm sure there is no personal interest in that statement.

      August 9, 2011 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill the Annoying

      While I do NOT take illegal drugs, NOR do I drink alcohol, I support the legalization of drugs fro two reasons.
      1: There would be less bloodshed and crime.
      2: More money would be generated in taxes.

      Besides, the fact that these drugs are illegal has not stopped their production, nor their distribution.

      PS Reason 3: Terrorist use money generated from the drug trade to fund their organizations.

      August 9, 2011 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
  5. Danno

    I could have sworn they alreadystated a few years ago and said this tribe discovery was a hoax.

    August 9, 2011 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
    • pheelyne

      read above

      August 9, 2011 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Miami Mike

      Not a hoax and not the only uncontacted tribe. This is so sad. Imagine waking up in your neighborhood only to find that everything you thought was wonderful and safe was an illusion. To make matters worse that this destruction was caused by a handful of people. Man kind is on a slippery slope down hill into some dark times.

      August 9, 2011 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
  6. Pat

    Glad I have the war on drugs on my side to keep me safe from the evil marijuana.

    August 9, 2011 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  7. cee

    the tribe got in their way, so they annihilated it.. do we really need more reasons to end the drug war and legalize it? when will the violence end?

    August 9, 2011 at 8:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Meh

      Do you think that the cartel's will suddenly just stop ? Do you really think that the violence and smuggling will end? It has'nt in Amsterdam, actually it has made the problem worse. You only care about yourself and getting high which is the saddest part

      August 9, 2011 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
    • humanbean

      "It has'nt in Amsterdam, actually it has made the problem worse." Where did you get this information from because in The Netherlands the evidence speaks quite to the contrary. You'd have to be living under a rock not to know any better.

      August 9, 2011 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Ray in Vegas

      This is one of the most uninformed, idiotic statements I have read. It would be so easy to do little research to realized you are completely wrong before posting something so stupid. Everywhere marijuana has been decriminalized the drug abuse rate goes down. Amsterdam has a decent tourism industry based around marijuana and nobody that I know of who has gone there or who has reported from there ever feels it is an unsafe place because of this. Stop talking out your rear end.

      August 9, 2011 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Ray in Vegas

      That was directed @Meh of course.

      August 9, 2011 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
  8. Linda57

    They wouldn't need a reason. They may also have made them into slaves...

    August 9, 2011 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
    • U-Turn

      What are you talking about?! These people are actually clients of the drug cartel. Can't you tell by their outfits? You have to be on some hefty drugs to paint yourself up like that and wear a pair of underwear made of leaves and grass.

      August 9, 2011 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
  9. Sharp

    You could get real philosophical about this. These innocent people probably don't live past their 20's & the simple jungle life is far over rated. On the other hand they are people like us & allowing some dirt bag drug smugglers to hunt them down is a crime against humanity & nature itself.

    August 9, 2011 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  10. Warren

    DP, well they said a broken arrowhead was found in a drug smugglers backpack they recovered. Maybe the drug smugglers using the river as a route were getting attacked by the tribe. Machine gun beats arrows almost every time.

    Its a shame if they have wiped out this people for the sake of easier access to smuggle drugs. I sincerely hope Brazil is able to nail the smugglers. No sympathy for those who produce, pedal or (in most cases) use drugs on my part.

    August 9, 2011 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
    • U-Turn

      It's very simple. Scissors cuts paper, paper covers rock, rock crushes Tribe, Tribe poisons Drug Cartel, Drug Cartel smashes scissors, scissors decapitates Tribe, Tribe eats paper, paper arrests Drug Cartel, Drug Cartel blows up rock, and—as it always has—rock crushes scissors

      August 9, 2011 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  11. Marc

    The tribe probably got scared and attacked them with arrows and they cartel members gunned them down. Luckily, no bodies were found indicating there were some survivors. They probably just ran, and are hiding in a safe locale.

    August 9, 2011 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Miami Mike

      Yes and their way of life changed for ever. They will never forget the day they met these strange men with weapons that killed so many so quickly. If these smugglers are found they need to be treated as crimes against humanity.

      August 9, 2011 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
  12. Fundies

    I hate traffic.

    August 9, 2011 at 8:51 am | Report abuse |
  13. robostomp

    ...Spiderman?!

    August 9, 2011 at 8:54 am | Report abuse |
  14. Byrd

    The drug war has now branched into genocide.

    August 9, 2011 at 8:55 am | Report abuse |
  15. buahahaha

    Its spiderman!

    August 9, 2011 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
    • nds

      Ha! I was going to say the same thing!

      August 9, 2011 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21