Ten members of ‘lost’ Amazon tribe are ‘killed, chopped up and thrown in river by gold miners hellbent on seizing their land’
By Jon Lockett | The Sun
Thursday, Sep 14, 2017
|The horror attack is alleged to have taken place in the Javari Valley - the second-largest indigenous reserve in Brazil
A complaint has been filed with prosecutors in South America after the alleged killers went into a bar and bragged about what they had done.
|An isolated Amazonian tribe discovered near the Peruvian border in Brazil|
It’s reported they were showing off a hand-carved paddle they claimed they had taken from the tribe based near the Colombian border.
“It was crude bar talk,” said Leila Silvia Burger Sotto-Maior, of the Brazilian agency on indigenous affairs (Funai).
“They even bragged about cutting up the bodies and throwing them in the river,” she said.
The miners, she said, claimed that “they had to kill them or be killed.”
Ms Sotto-Maior said the brutal killings were reported to have taken place last month.
The prosecutor in charge of the case, Pablo Luz de Beltrand, confirmed that an investigation had begun.
He said the episode was alleged to have occurred in the Javari Valley – the second-largest indigenous reserve in Brazil.
“These tribes are uncontacted – even Funai has only sporadic information about them. So it’s difficult work that requires all government departments working together,” said Beltrand.
He revealed it was the second slaughter he was investigating this year.
The first reported killing of uncontacted Indians in the region occurred in February.
Survival International, an indigenous rights group, warned that given the small sizes of the tribes, this latest episode could mean that a significant percentage of a remote ethnic group was wiped out.
“If the investigation confirms the reports, it will be yet another genocidal massacre resulting directly from the Brazilian government’s failure to protect isolated tribes,” said Sarah Shenker, a senior campaigner with the rights group.
With land disputes on the rise in many remote areas of Brazil, indigenous groups, rural workers and land activists have all been targeted by violence.
More than 50 people had been killed as of the end of July, compared with 61 in all of 2016, according to the Land Pastoral Commission. In some cases, government or police agents have been blamed for the violence. The authorities are investigating one police raid in the Amazon region that ended with 10 activists being killed. No officers were injured.
Activists worry that the country’s indigenous groups — and especially the uncontacted tribes — are the most vulnerable when it comes to land disputes.
“When their land is protected, they thrive,” said Ms Shenker. “When their land is invaded, they can be wiped out.”
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