By Ludovica Iaccino
3 July 2014
(IBT) – The Brazilian government has made contact with an Indian tribe in the Amazon forest near the border with Peru, for the first time in 20 years.
The tribe is believed to have taken refuge in Brazil after escaping Peru, due to illegal logging and drug trafficking, occurring in the country.
A spokesperson of Survival International, a London-based NGO, which advocates worldwide tribes' rights, told Vice that the group's name is unknown. It also unclear what language the tribe speaks.
"We can't be sure how they refer to themselves or even what language they speak," Kayla Wieche said. "It's difficult to know how many people are in the group in total and how many made contact. One FUNAI [Brazil's National Indian Foundation] official has mentioned a figure of 70, but nobody can really be sure at the moment."
Survival believes that illegal logging was to blame for pushing the tribe into Brazil.
Sarah Shenker, a campaigner with Survival, said, "It seems there were real pressures on them—logging and drug trafficking forcing them to do this.
"It seems like something big has happened, for them to approach a village like this. Maybe they saw loggers and felt they had nowhere left to go."
The group will be given the choice about whether or not it wants to settle in a village associated with modern society.
The tribe is believed to be the same one photographed by FUNAI's officials in 2008 and 2010. [more]