Published: Tue, September 12, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Illegal miners 'boast of massacring' entire uncontacted Amazon tribe

Illegal miners 'boast of massacring' entire uncontacted Amazon tribe

Two gold miners have reportedly been arrested after about 10 members of an uncontacted Amazon tribe were allegedly killed in a massacre. The killings reportedly happened last month, and were alleged to have taken place in the Javari Valley, Brazil's second-biggest indigenous reserve.

Authorities said the prosecutor's office in the Amazonas state, near the Colombian border, opened an investigation after learning that the miners had bragged about killing members of an unidentified tribe.

While ethnic tribe members are Brazilian citizens, they reside in jungles in independent groups, and have no involvement in modern society.

Leila Silvia Burger Sotto-Maior, a co-ordinator for Brazil's indigenous affairs agency, Funai, said the miners "even bragged about cutting up the bodies and throwing them in the river", the New York Times reports.

If the alleged killing is confirmed by investigating public prosecutors it would mean up to 20 percent of the total tribe, which includes women and children, was massacred. The mineworkers later gloated about the butcher at a bar in the closest town, and even flaunted a hand-cut oar they guaranteed to have stolen as a trophy.

"There is a lot of evidence, but it needs to be proven", Sotto-Maior said. In February, uncontacted Indians were reported killed, and the case is open. Last year, it was said that the Yanomami people could face extinction if they are not protected, revealing the increase of danger.

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She left no room for interpretation on that last point, but just in case: "We have not confirmed it, and that's that ". The child will be couple's third child after daughter North , and son Saint . " Those girls live off their bodies".

"If these stories are confirmed, President (Michel) Temer and his government bear a heavy responsibility for this genocidal attack", Survival said.

Back in 2011 an entire tribe went missing after heavily-armed drug dealers managed to overrun a Funai outpost.

Isolated peoples are particularly vulnerable and indigenous groups in Brazil in general have complained that their way of life is increasingly under threat from land conflicts.

"The slashing of funds has left dozens of uncontacted tribes defenceless against thousands of invaders", Survival International's director Stephen Corry said according to reports.

Survival International says that there is inadequate government funding in Brazil for groups protecting indigenous territories in the Amazon.

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