Brazilian Judge Recants and Is Now in Favor of Uncontacted Indians

A judge from Brazil has reinstated orders protecting an uncontacted Amazonian tribe following international protests. The case attracted worldwide attention after the same judge opened up the tribe's territory to loggers.

Logging companies are chopping down the Indians' forest in the Rio Pardo area despite repeated reports of the existence of isolated Indians there.

Empty Indian villages have been found with footprints by the streams, and signs that the Indians have left in a hurry. The Indians live in the states of Mato Grosso and Amazonas.

Logging companies have managed to get the protection order revoked several times, and are thought to have shot some of the Indians dead.

There are now fears of a violent backlash by loggers, who may also attempt to get the order overturned once again.

Stephen Corry, director of Survival International, an organization that defends the human rights of Indian peoples  said, "The Brazilian government must take immediate action to enforce the order by removing the logging companies, and it must recognize and demarcate the Rio Pardo Indians' land permanently. If it fails, this small tribe, whose name we do not even know, will soon be gone forever."

Meanwhile, a delegation of Indians from Mato Grosso, the state suffering fifty percent of all deforestation in the Amazon in 2003-2004, are travelling to Brasí­lia next week to press for protection of their lands against loggers, soya businesses and cattle ranchers.

Survival International
www.survival-international.org

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