Home > World News > Photos released to protect threatened Amazonians

Photos released to protect threatened Amazonians

AFP/FUNAI/Survival – Undated handout picture
released by Survival International of what they say are uncontacted
Indians seen …
BRASILIA (AFP) – Brazil has allowed the release of rare photographs
of an uncontacted Amazonian tribe to bring attention to the plight of
indigenous people who rights groups say are faced with possible
annihilation.
The astonishing images, showing curious adults and children peering
skyward with their faces dyed reddish-orange and toting bows, arrows
and spears, were taken by Brazil’s National Indian Foundation (FUNAI).
Rights group Survival International, which accompanied the government
agency on the overflight near the Brazil-Peru border, said their
baskets were full of papaya and manioc grown in a communal garden.
“Illegal loggers will destroy this indigenous people. It is essential
that the Peruvian government stop them before it is too late,” warned
Survival’s director Stephen Corry.

FUNAI has released similar photographs in the past and acknowledged
that Peruvian loggers are sending some indigenous people fleeing across
the border to less-affected rainforests in Brazil.

The coordinator of Brazil’s Amazon Indian organization COIAB, Marcos
Apurina, said he hoped the images would draw attention to the plight of
the indigenous peoples and encourage their protection.
“It is necessary to reaffirm that these peoples exist, so we support
the use of images that prove these facts. These peoples have had their
most fundamental rights, particularly their right to life, ignored —
it is therefore crucial that we protect them,” he said.
FUNAI says there are 67 tribes in Brazil that do not have sustained
contact with the outside world. Some are often referred to as
“uncontacted” tribes even though they have some kind of, albeit
limited, contacts.
A year ago, rights groups sent a letter to then president Luiz Inacio
Lula da Silva voicing concern that the very survival of indigenous
groups was under threat.
Brazil’s latest census counted more than 500,000 indigenous people
among more than 190 million Brazilians. Millions in the country,
however, have some indigenous ancestry.
Most indigenous people in the Americas descend from Asian people who
crossed a land bridge from Siberia, an estimated 13,000-17,000 years
ago. One notable exception: the indigenous people on Chile’s Easter
island, in the Pacific, are ethnic (Rapa Nui) Polynesians.
Source: AFP
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Categories: World News
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