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. MichaelChatt

    I have to admit when I saw the picture I thought it was something to do with Spiderman. Upon learning more it's just sad. If the drug smugglers killed them after we knew they were there why didn't they kill them before? Hopefully they've simply disappeared back into the jungle. Of course we all know the Smugglers don't have any real issues with killing people. They should be delt with from that perspective alone. Is the life of a forgotten tribe truly more important that any other life? Maybe, in a way, as there is so much about the natives of America we don't know. The Spanish and later the Englist and everyone else did such an amazing job of destroying the native populations and taking their stuff. If we want to learn anything beyound what we know tribes like this may be our greatest resourse.

    It looks like we haven't learned much though. They are still being killed for a buck, or turned into slaves for a buck.

    August 9, 2011 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  2. CJ

    Here's an idea: why don't we mind our own business and NOT exploit these tribes?

    August 9, 2011 at 10:17 am | Report abuse |
  3. John

    species must adapt or become extinct. simple as that. a main rule of survival.

    August 9, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
    • outraged

      Lets drop you off in the Jungle and see how you adapt and survive

      August 9, 2011 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
    • Wendy

      You are a Jerk!

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

      where is your humanity?

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

      Yea you sicko, stop living in the real world.

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

      John ... what a speciment of humanity you are!

      August 9, 2011 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      You actually know nothing about Evolution nor anything about where the human species is today in relationship to the planet it inhabits. An uncontacted tribe of human beings is not a separate 'species', and the human species has so thoroughly dominated this planet that it is now responsible for trying to maintain diversity among all species of plants and animals. We have evolved to become responsible for this planet and now instead of 'survival of the fittest' we must work to maintain genetic diversity at the risk of causing our own extinction. Dork.

      August 9, 2011 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Shanda

      That is ignorant and the thought process that has killed billions in this world's history. People should be allowed to live in their own communities without the fear of law-breakers coming in and taking over. The thugs are the ones that have no regard for human life, not this tribe. Survival of the fittest? Really!! If that were the case your race would be wiped out already.

      August 9, 2011 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Clay

      John I hope you're never the victim of a violent crime. I'd hate for someone to stand up at your funeral and say " well.... Old John Boy just wasn't able to adapt, RIP".

      Grow up Dude. You don't live in a Rambo movie.

      August 9, 2011 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Thinking

      john, you are absolutley right. these people dont want to live in the reality of the world that is today. its either adapt to survive or u get bullet holes through your head. am i happy about this? no not at all. would love to see a group who is still living that is uncontacted, but in todays day and age, its obviously not going to happen

      August 9, 2011 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Liz

      As harsh as it sounds, what you say is true. The happier side of that same harsh reality is that the human species has adapted and survived so well that it has the luxury of being able to assist with the survival of other members of our species. In fact, I believe we have evolved the desire to help each other as a result of the success doing so has had throughout the evolution of our species – it is the reason we build communities and share between cultures.

      August 9, 2011 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      Obviously, you don't understand the difference between a "culture" and a "species"... You Fail!

      August 9, 2011 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  4. Eric of Reseda

    Well, where's ther Brazilian Army?!? The Peruvian authorities?!?

    August 9, 2011 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
    • dai-frankie

      making money from the cartels!

      August 9, 2011 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Goliath

      @Eric: Jungle warfare is notoriously difficult and the Amazon jungle is huge. Unfortunately, it is practically impossible to have it all covered.
      @Dai-Frankie: Do you have evidence of that, or is that just pointless talk? Ever been to those countries? The Brazilian and the Peruvian troops are in a constant war against the guerrillas and drug-dealers. Saying 'makin' money!' is disrespectful for the fallen.

      August 9, 2011 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Al

      Who do you think the cocaine was for?

      August 9, 2011 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Goliath

      @Al: Mostly for US and Western European consumers.

      August 9, 2011 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  5. amazon king

    Do a internet search for this tribe if they are as lost and remote as this aid group says they are. then why is there a picture of one holding a wicked looking machete and another wearing a nike shirt???

    August 9, 2011 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
    • wrlord

      Might want to brush up on those research skills there, sparky.

      August 9, 2011 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  6. outraged

    This, and other atrocities brought to you by junkies and pot-heads. they don't give a dime if these tribes, colombian farmers or mexican families die as long as they get their "fix" How many people died for Amy Winehouse and other high profile cases to be high?

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

      That's why I only buy the best bud. That way I know Joe Schmo down the street grew and not Jose Schmo down in South America.

      August 9, 2011 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
    • Draeggo

      How many people have to die trying to enforce laws that cannot be enforced? How many people have to die just so you can make sure everyone is living the way you think they should? Wouldn't it be easier to get rid of people like you that want to control what everyone does?

      August 9, 2011 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • idiot

      You are an idiot!!!!! Get a life!

      August 9, 2011 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  7. Photos of these peoples have been around for years

    Yeah, photos of these tribes have been around a lot longer than February, CNN. Get your stuff together and check your facts. Photos of these peoples have been floating around for at least 5 years. 'Uncontacted' my elbow. Just because no one with a camera has had continuous first-hand relations with these Indians in recent history doesn't mean they've never had contact with a 'civilized' society. Likewise, The civilized world thought the peoples of the New Guinea highlands were first 'contacted' in the early 20th century. Turns out, that's likely where sugar comes from, and it's been around for a minute. If these peeps hadn't been contacted before the publicity, they sure as hell have been now.

    August 9, 2011 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
  8. what?

    those pictures are from several years ago.

    August 9, 2011 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  9. mark

    Shame on CNN for posting a fake bogus story like this. This whole story has been made up and CNN posted it either because they don't know any better or they like the controversy. Google it and you'll see. How ridiculous does it sound that "..a drug trafficker's ruck sack was found nearby with a broken arrow in it.." ? Its a bunch of lies.

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

    to destroy mankind in the name of drugs is the most disgusting and heart-breaking news i have ever read. i'm sure the drug traffckers were aware of this tribe long before we were. their disregard for human life was the traffickers ultimatedemise for this tribe. what will the ultimate demise be for the traffickers? only God knows!!!!!!!!!!! i hope they find out soon!!!!!!

    August 9, 2011 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  11. Wendy

    Hey, how about this, everyone who wants drugs to be legal, they can have South America. Everyone who beleives that people should just follow the law, stop using drugs and that drugs are bad, can stay in North America....we will check in on each other in about 20 years and see where we are at.....

    August 9, 2011 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • NOT MY CHAIR

      you have a great point look how bad Canada is doing ever since it legalized marijuana in some parts Toronto really fell apart, its almost as bad as the Netherlands at this point

      August 9, 2011 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Goliath

      I do not follow your premise. Drugs are ilegal in all South America (not even pot is legal), whereas Canada legalized marijuana (and California too, for medical purposes). Therefore, shouldn't your example be the other way around? I do not follow your conclusion either, Canada and the Netherlands are doing just fine after legalizing.

      August 9, 2011 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • idiot

      Wendy...you are a complete jackazz!!!! Go live if you little bubble and PLEASE don't come out!! by the way I don't do drugs for the record but you are an idiot!!!!!

      August 9, 2011 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
    • marla

      NOOOOO... i want to live in a CIVILIZED world but I don't wanna HAVE to go to some third world country to get my hashish.... Geez, lets COMPROMISE, lets give these Crackheads Portland and Toronto

      August 9, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Juan

      Lets just keep it as is.... drug making down south and every up north using. Much easier than trading places.

      August 9, 2011 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Wendy

      I love how I am called an idiot because I do not believe in the legalization of drugs....sure, pot may make your chemo symptoms feel better, but look at what it has done along with all the other illegal drugs...but I am sure using your logic, if we legalize all drugs, human trafficing will just go away right? All the drug dealers who have done nothing but make millions selling drugs all these years will just go away right? Tails between their legs and all right? You really are the idiot here, you bring no rational arguement except to name call....typical closet pot smoking liberal...lets all hold hands and it will be ok!!!!

      August 9, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Goliath

      Wow, so we start with the 'liberal'/'conservative' name-calling again. True sign of intelligence indeed. It is funny how even news about natives in the Amazon jungle can be enough reason for some people to start with politics rants.
      Anyway, I did not call you an idiot for believing (or not) in the legalization of drugs. I called out how flawed your reasoning was (since, again, drug legislation is much more lenient in North America).

      August 9, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
    • what rational argument do you bring

      @Wendy what rational argument did you bring to the discussion?? None...you are the one that looks like an uneducated fool! You want to segregate people just like the US used to do back in the early 1900, that sounds like a good argument!!!??? You are simply not worth the time hence you sound go in your little bubble and stay there!

      August 9, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      "Drugs" are not illegal. Alcohol, tobacco, caffeine... all legal. Pharmaceuticals, barely tested and released to the market mess people up far worse than pot could ever do. Either you are against drugs or not, but picking and choosing what is legal is just plain hypocritical.

      August 9, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Wendy

      @what rational argument do you bring...i wasnt aware that I had to have a PhD to post on CNN, shall we all bask in your glow? My argument was this, if those that truly believe that the legalization of illegal narcotis is the answer, then by all means, go find a new place, form your own country and conduct a true experiment in how the legalization of narcotics is the solution to our problems. That was all, if you would like to debate all topics, such as the inference to "segregation" above (which is completely rediculous unless you are trying to infer that only black people use drugs which any intelligent person would know that is not the case) then sure, we can debate that, but if you cannot draw a simple conclusion off of a simple statement then you are the one that probably over thinks everything, looks for hidden meanings in all things and generally is probably a miserable human being.

      At least I have the B@lls to give a name, and not some stupid screen name. You were probably made fun of for your comments above and felt the need to lash out irrationally.

      August 9, 2011 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  12. MobiusEight

    Keeping these tribes uncontacted just so they can be studied is disgusting. They're not animals, they're humans. It's like it's a zoo for humans. They did not evolve, and if the drug traffickers wipe them out, what are you gonna do about it? Let them die or bring them into the fold, quit treating them like some kind of rare animal species.

    August 9, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Me

      I feel the same way but we are definitely in the minority. What if their children are dying from a disease we could prevent. I wonder what we would do if they were making human sacrifices to god?

      August 9, 2011 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  13. Mark

    If there was no previous contact, how come two of them are wearing Spiderman costumes?

    August 9, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • marla

      I don't know about two spiderman costumes but i do see an Iron man and a Batman figure also...

      August 9, 2011 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
  14. NOT MY CHAIR

    its surprising that they are still being called Indians. i hate to say it but this life style really doesn't have a place in a modern world.

    August 9, 2011 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Shanda

      Wow. And who set that rule? People should be allowed to live however they want, not in the way we want them to. The problem with European thinking is that everyone should think they way they do. History has shown through the taking over of America and Africa that their "conform or die" thinking has led to nothing less than the killing of people and the Earth we need to survive. Thanks again Kings and Queens of Europe in search of gold and land. Thanks again George Bush and company in search of oil and money. We couldn't have killed the world without you.

      August 9, 2011 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • idiot

      Shanda...how does this have anything to do with gold, land, or oil??? Did you even read the article? You should join Wendy in her bubble!

      August 9, 2011 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • marla

      Yeah, I say we should give these INDIANS some food like we did to our Native Indian population. But then again, our Native Indian population were much more cooler, they brought their own WEED... These spidrman Tarzan jockeys have no idea what they missing out on (internet, hot water, Angry birds)

      August 9, 2011 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  15. TexasLogic

    Anyone who uses drugs is to blame. You create the demand for these cartels to go to any lengths to provide for.

    August 9, 2011 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • idiot

      Okay, that is like saying every woman is to blame for r@pe because they have a naughty place!!! Are you serious??? The stupidity of some people simply amazes me!!

      August 9, 2011 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
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