UN Indigenous Peoples’ Day: Uncontacted Amazon tribe faces annihilation
The Kawahiva's land is being targeted by illegal loggers and cattle ranchers
On UN Indigenous Peoples’ Day, Survival International is calling for the full demarcation and protection of the land of the Kawahiva people, an uncontacted tribe in the Amazon that is at extremely high risk of extinction.
With the eyes of the world on Brazil during the Rio Olympics, campaigners are hoping that more will be done to secure their land for them, and to give them the chance to determine their own futures.
Many powerful people in the region, including José Riva – dubbed “the most corrupt politician in Brazil” – are targeting the tribe’s land. The Indians are acutely vulnerable to the threat of forced contact from these loggers and ranchers.
In April 2016, pressure from Survival International supporters helped push the Brazilian Minister of Justice to sign a decree ordering the full mapping out and protection of the tribe’s land.
But despite this, the Minister’s demand has not been carried out. Until the Brazilian indigenous affairs department enacts the demarcation, the tribe faces annihilation.
First contact has been catastrophic for many Brazilian tribes. Jirusihú, from the Zo’é people in the northern Amazon, who were forcibly contacted by evangelical missionaries in the 1980s, said: “After the outsiders came, Zo’é became sick and some died. Back then… there was diarrhea and there was pain. Fever killed many, many Zo’é.”
Source : Survival International