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. us1776

    The uncontacted tribe didn't fall victim to drug traffickers.

    They fell victim to the Brazilian government and big oil who drove them off and then planted some cocaine package that could amazingly be found by the media.


    August 9, 2011 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
    • pauline

      You are too naive to dismiss the wide-ranging and violent activities of the drug cartels in S. America in favor of some non-sensical anti-government theory.

      August 9, 2011 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Nope

      us1776, where did you come up with that conspiracy theory? Did Glenn Beck doodle it on a chalkboard?

      August 9, 2011 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Joey

      No he works for big oil AND the Brazilian govt! This was all us1776s idea. Hes the only one who knows the truth so it must have been him lol.

      August 9, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  2. LifesAbunchOfJellyBeans

    Yup, its fake. The one on the left is listening to an ipod. The one on the right is dressed like Spiderman and finally the one in the middle...well...I'm still thinking he has something to do with running for President.. 🙂

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

      Hilarious until you got a a tad bit racist. All in fun though

      August 9, 2011 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
    • TheWiz_71

      Nothing funny whatsoever about this. Go take your warped sense of humor somewhere else. These people are likely dead, and a whole way of life may have been extinguished. And, oh yeah, cut with the racism too. Absolutely not funny on so many levels.

      August 9, 2011 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
    • MeanBoxer

      If you look closely, in the background you can see Bigfoot playing cards with the Loch Ness monster

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

      It wasn't that funny until you offended TheWiz and now it is hilarious.

      August 9, 2011 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Tony

      actually, pretty funny

      August 9, 2011 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  3. Me

    I read the first couple of comments.. Christianity? A metaphor to the Conquest of the Americas? Different but I can see the selfishness and greed likeness. This is horribly sad. Reminds me of Avatar. Unfortunately this tribe is probably not 16 ft tall and don't have special powers. If left unprotected, they are doomed. I am at odds with the publishing of the photos in question. Awareness is key, but curiosity killed the cat.

    August 9, 2011 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  4. Tyokol

    Damnation!...this tribe seems to be the one from which Darth Maul hails.

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

      Actually, Darth Maul's species (the Zabrak) are a tan color. Darth Maul only looks evil because Palpatine covered him in red and black Sith tattoos.

      August 9, 2011 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Eric of Reseda

      Wow. Funny. Not.

      August 9, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • @ Big Frank

      wow dude, you know WAY too much about that stuff...

      August 9, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Ken

      Nerd fest over here...

      August 9, 2011 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  5. ACKVT

    I feel bad that this tribe was "outed" so publicly. If people wanted to protect them then why ever let the world know they are there??? These people were fine, probably lived for centuries in this area, until technology (helicopter/ airplane) photographs them (technology) and posts the photos on the Internet and on every TV channel in the world (technology). Would you say that technology has made these peoples lives better? Maybe there is a lesson here.... though I have as many computers, cell phones, tablets, TV's as anyone else I need to learn the same lesson.

    August 9, 2011 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Amavet2

      "Outed".....I agree! They should have stayed in the closet!

      August 9, 2011 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • TheWiz_71

      I doubt the drug traffickers targeted this tribe because they were made aware of their existence on the internet through various means. They were likely simply in territory these thugs wanted for themselves. If we had not been made aware of their existence in the first place, we might not know about this horrible crime that people need to be made aware of.

      August 9, 2011 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
    • f

      "Outed !" they should have stayed in the straw hut.

      August 9, 2011 at 10:15 am | Report abuse |
    • EmptySkull

      You mean you can locate a place in the Amazon from looking at some pictures in some press releases? Wow, amazing.

      August 9, 2011 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  6. Don Canard

    why not shoot the drug traffickers on sight, then the problem will be solved.

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

      Safari tours? Hunt down and shoot a drug trafficker for fun?

      August 9, 2011 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
    • TheWiz_71

      @Robert – I'd be tempted to sign on.

      August 9, 2011 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
    • Big_Frank

      Ditto. No bag limit, and open season all year.

      August 9, 2011 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
    • MomCat

      Why not shoot the drug trafficker's CUSTOMERS on sight? THAT would render a 'war on drugs' unnecessary.

      August 9, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      I'm in. No bag limits. Open all year round. Communication devices, night vision, thermal vision, any lethal weapon all legal!

      August 9, 2011 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Nobel

      You've been watching too many Rambo movies.

      August 9, 2011 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • ibrad

      Yup,the war on drugs will be over once and for all! Why didn`t anybody else think of that one before now?

      August 9, 2011 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  7. Amavet2

    Maybe these people were scared off by the loud strange looking bird that was flying over the top of them taking pictures!! Maybe they moved deeper into the rain forest!! Maybe they were drug runners disguising themselves as an indigenous tribe to throw the authorities off in the first place!!

    August 9, 2011 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • leelanau

      Aahhh....another cynic just like me.

      August 9, 2011 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  8. ANA

    Seriously?? Not contact them and leave them in the forest? They are humans like us!!! Bring them to the city and protect them!! Buy them a Big Mac and let them enjoy the benefits of what other humans have contributed in the field of science for the human race...

    Preserve them and so what???

    August 9, 2011 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
    • f

      Hey , we should at least dig them a proper latrine.

      August 9, 2011 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
    • slammybammy

      yes...lets let them in on our gluttonous ways!

      August 9, 2011 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  9. Diane

    Hasn't man done enough continuously destroying the Amazon???! Now the drug traffickers – its sickening and heartbreaking. The Amazon supplies 1/3 of the Earth's oxygen – and used to have so many untouched tribes by western civilization..........For those of you joking about this being fake – do your research. This photo reflects some very distinctive body paint that unfortunately we may never learn about. See what damage your fellow human beings are doing in these beautiful places, and its been going on for a very, very long time.

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

      I am confused. You seem to want people to leave this tribe alone then you state there is body paint we may never learn about. How would we learn about it if we didn't contact them? Leaving them alone sadly means that we have to accept that we will never learn about their capabilities. And that's OK.

      August 9, 2011 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Ken

      I'm confused that you're confused...

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

    @ Petercha: When some stupid athiest has to make an anti-religious remarke into this kind of conversation they are most likely just some cokehead whith a fried brain. Leave them alone, they just want attention and they know they can get it by making people angery.

    August 9, 2011 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  11. Jet

    Civilians in Mexico, troops in Afghanistan, kids on the streets in the U.S., tourists in Columbia, indigenous tribes in the Amazon. As long as there remains an insatiable desire to 'get high' ... (whether the tribe mentioned here is real or not)innocent people will pay the price for those who seek to get stoned. THAT is real!

    August 9, 2011 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
    • JFT

      Thank you. If the demand ceased, so would the horror. I don't see how anyone can continue taking drugs in the face of what is happening in Mexico and other nations – but hey, gotta get high! Can't live without my crutch! Tragic.

      August 9, 2011 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  12. Geoff Hamilton

    If drugs were legalized, massacres like this would be unnecessary overhead and just plain not in the budget.

    August 9, 2011 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
    • leelanau

      That's actually a continually ignorant point-of-view raised by the left. The drug smugglers would still operate outside the law. you think these people have any interest in paying taxes on their contraband? "taxes" or "tribute" is why these gangs hack the heads off of each other each and every day.

      August 9, 2011 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • Jet

      Riiiigghhhtttt! I can imagine our youth sitting in a schoolroom, whacked on crack, focused (only) on their next hit. Think about it! Think about the productivity of a secretary or a factory worker, your doctor or a police officer who has just come back from lunch after doing a hit of 'cid. Think about it!
      How about this. Our society suddenly realizes the financial and social consequences of their actions and the impact that their 'vice' has on other communities ... and as a result ... GROW UP and act like mature (intelligent) people.
      GETTING HIGH is financially and socially crippling our world ... legal or not.

      August 9, 2011 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  13. eclectic

    This is one of the most heart-breaking news I have ever read.

    Greed is taking over all the humane specks left.

    Damn the capitalistic world.

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

      Nope, never been any greed and powerlust going on in the Communist societies around the world.....

      August 9, 2011 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  14. j

    they seriously look like Spiderman, Deadpool and Venom...and im not trying to be mean...

    August 9, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  15. Squally

    Wasn't this picture found to be fake a couple months after it was released?

    August 9, 2011 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
    • mark

      Yes. This whole story is a bunch of B.S. It is completely FAKE. How ridiculous does it sound that "a drug smuggler's ruck sack was found nearby with a broken indian arrow in it.." Thats ridiculous.

      August 9, 2011 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
    • Ken

      Um, this is a legitimate story with a legitimate picture. The stories you have been reading are on the Onion

      August 9, 2011 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
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