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. corizzle

    legalize all drugs, let people who take them die, no more problems.

    August 9, 2011 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Elfster

      That's a simpleton answer with out a lick of sense. Perhaps you should pay closer attention to how drugs impact society, especially socially and ecocomically.....medicaid, welfare, food stamps, treatment, etc. And, that doesn't just include the negative impacts of the addict, but their family too

      August 9, 2011 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
    • Cliff Vegas

      Full legalization is a "pipe dream" (pun intended); I'd be happy with full legalization of pot. I thought my generation was going to do it but we got too damn self-righteous. Maybe the ultracons will finally END this stupid drug war.

      August 9, 2011 at 9:16 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Actually what your suggesting is almost correct. My brother died while serving time in prison for a drug offense. He was a drug addict his whole life. The system failed him on so many levels but he was a drug addict and it was ultimately his choice. The way our country is handling the drug fiasco is a joke. There are some drugs that just need to be legalized, pot of course is at the top of that list. For those of you who say doing that will lead to other drugs, well alcohol does the same thing and I'm sure we'll never see that banned again will we.

      August 9, 2011 at 9:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Charles

      I totally agree, we are wasting money fighting something that people want to do. Whether its "Drugs, Gay/Lesbian" its something people want to do. Its there life so let them live it, I see now that this country is easing on the "Gay/Lesbian" issue, hey whether you like it or not the country says thats its their life. So the same rule should be applied to someone doing drugs, either way it goes the family will be affected and have to deal with it. Death by drugs or death by disease gay or straight its their life! GOD will have the final answer

      August 9, 2011 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
    • 2EL8

      Smoke pot, smoke pot everybody smoke pot.

      August 9, 2011 at 9:29 am | Report abuse |
  2. Fundies

    They look like Power Rangers from a distance.

    August 9, 2011 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
    • JB

      Would you...?

      August 9, 2011 at 9:12 am | Report abuse |
  3. Frank

    They should have made contact with them a long time ago, it is silly to treat human beings like caged animals for the purpose of studying them. They needed to hear the good news of Jesus Christ.

    August 9, 2011 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
    • mako

      sorry Frank, and sorry Joseph, all just a fairytale, nothing immaculate about that conception, someone hit that

      August 9, 2011 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
    • U-Turn

      What? That he died almost 2000 years ago?
      Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.

      August 9, 2011 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
    • TJ

      Mako and U-Turn; ever heard of sarcasm???

      August 9, 2011 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
    • InFormed

      I'm assuming you're just being sarcastic Frank. Otherwise, that a pretty stupid comment to make.

      August 9, 2011 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
    • 2EL8

      Jesus Frank, Keep religion out of this.

      August 9, 2011 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Domo

      Dear Lord, please save me from your "good" people.

      August 9, 2011 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      Funny.. You don't deny Jesus's existence.. just his deity... that's what the Pharisees did too and that is what most of the religions today do as well. Deny that Jesus was from God and was God incarnate. Just because you can't see it nor believe it doesn't mean it's not real.

      August 9, 2011 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Doomguy

      If Jesus came to these people, hopefully they will show him their nifty blow darts.

      August 9, 2011 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
    • U-Turn

      @ John
      I don't deny there was a man named Jesus almost 200 years ago. He was merely a whack-job: a man claiming to be god or hearing him speak to him. Funny, we have people like him today and what do we do? We put them on medication and in special "homes." The difference is, today we know about mental illnesses where as 2000 years ago any nut on the street crying anything was believed.

      August 9, 2011 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
    • U-Turn


      August 9, 2011 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      @U-Turn - that was 2000 yrs ago.. And funny again.. That's what the Pharisees thought of Jesus as well.. A blasphemer, whack job as you call it.. and they conspired to kill him for it.

      August 9, 2011 at 9:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Vermonster

      Frank, that has to be the most ridiculous comment I have ever heard, Jesus is the last thing these people need. I'm sick and tired of all these born agains trying to press their religion on people. Guess it should come as no surprise to me however, religious fanatics have been doing it for thousands of years, still makes my stomach turn whenever I hear one of these wackos speak. Go back to your tabernacle.

      August 9, 2011 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Vermonster

      @ Doomguy.... Awesome!

      August 9, 2011 at 9:31 am | Report abuse |
    • 2EL8

      David Koresh made contact with them and you see how far that got him.

      August 9, 2011 at 9:36 am | Report abuse |
  4. James

    Sounds like reality avatar. And is that spiderman, night crawler, and mystique?

    August 9, 2011 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Kristen

      aaaaahahahah made my day.

      August 9, 2011 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
    • David in Corpus

      They paint themselves red to detract from their tiny lil' indian members.
      Sad, we all can't be black or scottish.

      August 9, 2011 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
  5. Rob

    How many times is CNN going to fall for this rehashed story? It's like bigfoot. You can't have just 3 natives roaming the jungles. To sustain a tribe requires 20 or 30 members and a village unless they live in the trees or underground. They should be fairly easy to find. But it's always an obscure arial photo of 3 natives holding spears. Haha.

    August 9, 2011 at 9:00 am | Report abuse |
    • JJ

      You're an idiot. Do some research and you'll see they DO have pictures of 20-30 members of uncontacted tribes. Just because this ONE PHOTO shows three people doesn't mean all of them do.

      August 9, 2011 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      No one said the three people in the picture are the entire tribe. Others were probably off hunting or gathering at the time. And the young children were probably inside the hut - which is so big that it couldn't plausibly have been built for just three people. The hut may be for just one extended family, and for all we know the tribe had dozens of such huts. After all, no one said the hut in the picture is the only one.

      August 9, 2011 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
  6. Cobb

    Whether or not drugs should be legalized is not the appropriate issue to be arguing. Legalizing drugs will take years still. If we really want to stop drug violence, we need to stop using as individuals. We as Americans are the biggest market in the world for drugs. So we can think that it is the Right-wing's fault for this violence, but in actuality, fault lies with all of us in the world who buy illegal drugs and keep these killers in business. We are selfishly financing the drug lords and then saying what they do is awful and should be stopped. Be the change you want to see, don't wait for the world to do it for you.

    August 9, 2011 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
    • U-Turn

      I'm sorry, did you hear something?
      Must have been the wind...

      August 9, 2011 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Doina

      Cobb – very good post. People with brains should think like you. Legalizing drugs is not the answer. There will always be a black market with cheaper crap. Not buying the merchandise would kill the business, like now in our great economy. Buy – businesses stay in business, don't buy – businesses go down the drain. Certain drugs are illegal for a reason. Look at Amy Winehouse and others who died like her. Anyhow, legalizing drugs will not stop the crime.

      August 9, 2011 at 9:17 am | Report abuse |
    • U-Turn

      @ Doina
      Nah, drugs just helps save Darwin valuable time. Stupid people will always off themselves one way or another, drugs just speed up the process.

      August 9, 2011 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  7. wizord88

    And still teens think drugs are cool

    August 9, 2011 at 9:05 am | Report abuse |
    • David in Corpus

      Some of you are so clueless. Recreational (that means for fun) drug use has been around forever. I know lots of productive (otherwise law abiding), successful adults who are daily marajuana users. Y'all demonize drugs but like anything else in life it has to be done in moderation.
      Don't blame the ills of the world on the behavior of junkies.
      BTW, a junkie is a drug zealot. There are plenty of religious, business, govt., etc etc. junkies out there causing problems. Why don't we outlaw them too?

      August 9, 2011 at 9:20 am | Report abuse |
  8. Philip L

    They should try painting themselves green rather than red. Camouflage you know.

    August 9, 2011 at 9:06 am | Report abuse |
  9. Me

    First of all, I don't believe for a minute that a guard station was set up to protect the indigenous tribe. There must have been a different reason. Secondly, had it not been broadcast that the tribe had been found, no one would have known they were there and they wouldn't have needed protection. They would have carried on like they have been for all the years they've been there.

    August 9, 2011 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
    • David in Corpus

      Yes, but some obscure academic wanted to write a paper so he could maybe get tenure finally instead of being adjuncted out like most of his colleagues.
      Adjuncts, btw, are the new professors in America. They get no insurance, no sick leave, and a lil' over half the pay a full time professor would get, plus they are starting to force them to do committe work, which in the past was the excuse they used to not pay them equal. Ain't America great, ain't a college education for everyone great? Makes me want to go live in the jungle and paint my pen is red.

      August 9, 2011 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  10. Dude

    Why bring religion into it?

    August 9, 2011 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
  11. Mark

    So we send millions of dollars to africa for starving people and mosquito nets, but we find these people and make no attempt to contact take them.. Something ain't jiving..

    August 9, 2011 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  12. Richard

    It is a simple solution. In the US if you sell or distribute drugs you are put to death. Your first arrest for using can get you twenty years hard labor. Send in the military to wipe out the drug cartels. The cartels are a danger to the US. Lets brand them as terrorists and we can then kill them. Legalizing drugs will do nothing. Being nice will get you only so far.

    August 9, 2011 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Me

      Why would legalizing no work? Would the drug cartels still be drug cartels if drugs were illegal? Before you say that would just move on to other crime well of course they would and then we stop that.

      August 9, 2011 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  13. Buster

    I am tired of this old story coming around on CNN every six months. Everyone with any shred of common sense can do a minimal amount of research and learn that this photo is a hoax. This "tribe" was a hoax. It is all a sham, and only an idiot born five minutes ago would fall for it...oh hello CNN.

    August 9, 2011 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
  14. ohboy

    First off CNN, these pictures were released about 2 years ago, not this past February. I remember this one in particular. Get your dates right! I wish they had just been left alone. Shame.

    August 9, 2011 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
  15. John Galt

    Blame this on the Peruvian and Brazillian government. They never took care of their native peoples AND they lack the backbone to implement a military solution to deal with these murdering thugs.

    August 9, 2011 at 9:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Cliff Vegas

      I heard it was a hoax too, but read this article – if it was a hoax, it had purpose:

      August 9, 2011 at 9:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Bobobobobobo

      How many Ayn Rand/Atlas Shrugged references/names do I have to read before I spew all over my shoes? Can we be creative for once, Mr. Galt?

      Blah. So passé. I need a drink now.

      August 9, 2011 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
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