Native Village
Youth and Education news
Volume 1   September 2011

Drug Dealers May Have Wiped Out "Uncontacted" Amazon Tribe
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Uncontacted Tribe
Photo of the missing tribe first photographed from the air three years ago

Settlement of an uncontacted tribe in the Javari Valley

Brazil: An Amazon tribe that had no previous contact with modern civilization may have been wiped out by drug dealers.

The worries began in August after a government-run guard post in the area was attacked by a group of armed men. It's believed the men were smuggling drugs between Peru and Brazil.

Officials who keep tabs on the region's "uncontacted" people fear that the tribe may have fled or were all killed. 

Since the attack, officials have found no sign of the tribe.  The guards found a broken arrowhead in an attacker’s backpack that was left behind. This suggests the armed men had made contact with the tribe.

“Arrows are like the identity card of uncontacted Indians,” said Carlos Lisboa Travassos from Brazil’s Isolated Indians Department. “This situation could be one of the biggest blows we have ever seen in the protection of uncontacted Indians in recent decades.”

The Korubo tribe of Brazil reside in the Javari Valley - located on the Western part of the Amazon Basin.
In Porteguese, they are referred to as caceteiros - or ‘clubbers’
They are considered to be one of the last people on earth to live in near isolation from modern society. 104324852
Authorities also found a package containing 44 pounds of cocaine in the area. This adds to the fears that smugglers wanted remove the tribe in order to clear the way for illegal drug running.
The tribe lives in the Javari Valley, one of the Amazon's most isolated regions. The Javari Valley has the highest concentration of known isolated tribes. Brazil watches over the tribal lands but avoids contact with the people. This protects them from exposure to germs for which they have no immunity.
At least eight other isolated tribes have been spotted in the same region.  The possibility of drug trafficking greatly concerns officials hoping to protect the indigenous way of life.

FUNAI, the National Indian Foundation, is charged with preventing invasions of indigenous territories by outsiders.

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