• Categories
  • Archives

Experts Afraid Flu Might Wipe Out Tribe of Uncontacted Amazon Indians

The Ashaninka IndiansHighly vulnerable uncontacted Indians who recently emerged in the Brazil-Peru border region have said that they were fleeing violent attacks in Peru. FUNAI, Brazil’s Indian Affairs Department, has announced that the group of uncontacted Indians has returned once more to their forest home.

Seven Indians made peaceful contact with a settled indigenous Ashaninka community near the Envira River in the western Acre state, Brazil, three weeks ago.

A Brazilian government health team was dispatched and has treated seven Indians for flu. FUNAI has announced it will reopen a monitoring post on the Envira River which it closed in 2011 when it was overrun by drug traffickers.

The emerging news has been condemned as “extremely worrying” by Survival International, the global movement for tribal peoples’ rights, as epidemics of flu, to which uncontacted Indians lack immunity, have wiped out entire tribes in the past.

Brazilian experts believe that the Indians, who belong to the Panoan linguistic group, crossed over the border from Peru into Brazil due to pressures from illegal loggers and drug traffickers on their land.

Nixiwaka Yawanawá, an Indian from Acre state, said, “This news proves that my uncontacted relatives are threatened by violence and infectious diseases. We already know what can happen if the authorities don’t take action to protect them, they will simply disappear. They need time and space to decide when they want to make contact and their choices must be respected. They are heroes!”

Uncontacted Indians in Peru suffer multiple threats to their survival as the government has carved up 70 percent of the Amazon rainforest for oil and gas exploration, including the lands of uncontacted tribes.

Plans to expand the notorious Camisea gas project, located in the heart of the Nahua-Nanti reserve for uncontacted Indians, recently received the government’s go-ahead, and Canadian-Colombian oil giant Pacific Rubiales is carrying out exploration on land inhabited by the Matsés tribe and their uncontacted neighbors.

Both projects will bring hundreds of oil and gas workers into the lands of uncontacted tribes, introducing the risk of deadly diseases and violent encounters, and scaring away the animals the Indians hunt for their survival.

Survival has launched an urgent petition to the Brazilian and Peruvian governments to protect the land of uncontacted Indians, and called on the authorities to honor their commitments of cross-border cooperation.

Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said, “This news could hardly be more worrying – not only have these people confirmed they suffered violent attacks from outsiders in Peru, but they have apparently already caught flu.

“The nightmare scenario is that they return to their former villages carrying flu with them. It’s a real test of Brazil’s ability to protect these vulnerable groups. Unless a proper and sustained medical program is immediately put in place, the result could be a humanitarian catastrophe.”

Tags:

  • Show Comments (0)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Ads

You May Also Like

Brazilians to Get 1.2 Bi Free Condoms from Government in 2009, a World Record

The Ministry of Health of Brazil announced that it will purchase 1.2 billion condoms ...

Planning a Planetary Zero Hunger in Brazil

The war on hunger is one of the themes that will be discussed at ...

Brazil Expecting US$ 108 in Exports for 2005

Brazil’s Minister of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade, Luiz Fernando Furlan, says that the ...

Brazil’s Appeals Court Denies Moral Damages Against Cigarette Maker

The 4th Panel of the Superior Justice Court (STJ), the highest Brazilian appeal court, ...

Willy Herrmann

Willy Herrmann, the German Guy Who Became Brazil’s Mr. Formula Indy

What do the family of Brazil’s largest supermarket chain, a former Brazilian telenovela (soap ...

Brazilian Air Force Gets Second-Hand Mirages as Stopgap Solution

The new Mirage F-2000s that the Brazilian Air Force (FAB) just added to its ...

Canceling Brazil and LatAm’s Debts Is No Charity, But an Act of Fairness

At the beginning of July, the G8 nations set forth a precedent-setting “100 percent” ...

WHO Uses Brazil Expertise to Fight Smoking Worldwide

Brazil will contribute its experience with tobacco control programs to the World Health Organization’s ...

A Bill to Join Brazil and the US

If a little-known legislative bill had succeeded in Brazil during the 1830s Brazilian and ...