According to Survival International, public prosecutors in Brazil have opened an investigation after reports that the gold miners slaughtered “more than ten” members of the uncontacted tribe.
If the investigation confirms the claim, it means up to a fifth of the entire tribe has been wiped out.
Two of the suspected gold miners have been arrested.
The killings allegedly took place in August along the River Jandiatuba in western Brazil but it came to public knowledge after the gold miners started boasting about the killings, and showing off “trophies” in the nearest town.
Agents from Brazil’s indigenous affairs agency, FUNAI, confirmed details of the attack to Survival International. Women and children are believed to be among the dead. FUNAI and the public prosecutor’s office are currently investigating.
The area is known as the Uncontacted Frontier, as it contains more uncontacted tribes than anywhere else on Earth.
Several government teams who had been protecting uncontacted indigenous territories have recently had their funding slashed by the Brazilian government, and have had to close down.
Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said: “If these reports are confirmed, President Temer and his government bear a heavy responsibility for this genocidal attack. The slashing of FUNAI’s funds has left dozens of uncontacted tribes defenseless against thousands of invaders – gold miners, ranchers, and loggers – who are desperate to steal and ransack their lands.
All these tribes should have had their lands properly recognized and protected years ago – the government’s open support for those who want to open up indigenous territories is utterly shameful, and is setting indigenous rights in Brazil back decades.”
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