• Categories
  • Archives

Controversy over Brazilian ‘Lost’ Indians Shows Media Bias, Says Survival

Brazil's uncontacted Indians London-based Survival International, an organization dedicated to defend the human rights of tribal peoples, is denying this Tuesday, June 24, that it or Funai, the Brazilian government agency in charge of Indians, misled the media over pictures of uncontacted Indians from Brazil painted in red threatening an overflying plane with their arrows.

The British newspaper The Observer claimed on June 22 that it has now "emerged" that the uncontacted tribe whose photos received worldwide publicity were neither "lost," nor "undiscovered" nor "unknown."

Other newspapers that have picked up the article have gone further and said that the story was a "hoax."

The story is not a hoax, says Survival, and none of those involved in working to protect these Indians' rights have ever claimed they were "undiscovered," the group adds.

In response to the allegations, Survival International's director Stephen Corry issued the following statement:

"The Observer article claims to "reveal" that the tribe photographed was neither "lost" nor "unknown". The reality is that neither Survival nor the Brazilian government claimed they were:

* When Survival published the photos, we quoted José Carlos dos Reis Meirelles, the Brazilian official who released them, saying, "We did the overflight to show their houses, to show they are there…" As Mr Meirelles said when the Brazilian government released the photos, the Indians' territory has been monitored for twenty years.

* These Indians are in a reserve expressly set aside for the protection of uncontacted tribes: they were hardly "unknown"!

* A glance at Survival's publications would also "reveal" that we have been campaigning for the protection of the uncontacted Indians of this region for more than twenty years.

"What is, and remains, true, is that so far as is known these Indians have no peaceful contact with outsiders. The publication of the pictures has pushed the Peruvian government into investigating their plight, a huge step forward given that just a few months ago Peru's President publicly questioned whether uncontacted Indians exist at all.

"This latest controversy reveals more about media attitudes than it does about isolated tribal peoples. Some journalists apparently don't want to recognize that there are in fact many uncontacted tribes around the world – we estimate about 100 – which, whilst not "lost", simply reject contact with the outside world. Given the massacres and atrocities so many of them have experienced, it's a perfectly sensible attitude."

Contact with the outside world has been a disaster for the Brazilian Indigenous peoples. While there were, by some accounts, about 5 million Indians when the Portuguese arrived in Brazil in 1500, today the Indian population has dwindled to around 350,000.

Tags:

  • Show Comments (1)

  • ..

    [quote]Other newspapers that have picked up the article have gone further and said that the story was a “hoax.”[/quote]

    It did take a long time for them to figure it out,eh?

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

A Brazilian Approach to Belly Dancing Clothing

Five years ago, ballet dancer and belly dance teacher Adriana Almeida was looking for ...

Brazil: Salvador’s Dizzying Bazaar of Senses

In spite of its humble beginnings, the Saint Joachim Market has emerged as the ...

Sí£o Paulo, Brazil, Gets Honorable Mention as World’s Robbery Capital

A new United Nations report reveals that fear of crime is driving investment away ...

Argentina to Impose Retaliatory Tariffs on Brazilian Products

The government of Argentina announced it would slap anti-dumping tariffs for six months on ...

The Speech the President of Brazil Should Have Made

“Young people of Brazil, young men and women: “We were wrong. Forgetting your dreams, ...

Under Pressure Brazil Replaces Word Refugee with Resident in National ID Card for Immigrants

The Brazilian government has heeded the pleas of the refugee population in Brazil and ...

For Sociologist, Violence in Brazil Is Pandemic, Very Hard to Deal With

Julio Jacobo Waiselfisz is a sociologist who  has been the principal author of the ...

Brazilian Companies Get Fre-Zone Status in the Emirates

Starting in late 2010, the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, in the United Arab ...

Brazil’s Family Farmers Learn About Bird Flu

The Brazilian Ministry of Agrarian Development has begun to distribute explanatory pamphlets on bird ...