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Meet Leaders of the Amazon’s Most Endangered Tribes and Those Trying to Protect Them

Al Jazeera
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October 28, 2017
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Murder in the Amazon: Brazil's Natives Under Threat (Al Jazeera English)

The Brazilian Amazon is home to nearly one million indigenous people, who have lived in and from the rainforest for thousands of years.

Many of them live in the Javari Valley Indigenous Reserve, which comprises eight million hectares - roughly the size of Austria. Among them are the largest number of uncontacted tribes in the world, photographed only rarely from the air.

Last month, 10 indigenous people were reportedly massacred in the reserve by illegal gold miners who roam these rivers, the second such incident this year.

The reason is that the government body in charge of protecting the reserves, the National Indigenous Foundation (FUNAI), is barely functioning.

"With the deactivation of the [FUNAI] bases, it's much more difficult to know what goes on, and at the same time, stop invaders from entering," says Fernando Soave, Amazonia's state prosecutor.

"They can be illegal hunters, miners, fishermen, loggers ... Our rivers are like roads, because there aren't roads in the Amazon. If you install a base at the entrance to a river, you can block illegal entries. If you don't have these bases, it's free passage."

Soave paints a dire picture of the dangers facing the Amazon's indigenous tribes since the government massively reduced FUNAI's budget.

Read the rest at Al Jazeera

  Check out Survival International: Uncontacted Tribes


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