Uncontacted tribes flee to Brazil

August 4, 2007

Survival International reported on August 2 that a large group of uncontacted Indians had fled to Bananeira, a remote village across the border in Brazil. It is believed that the Indians were escaping illegal loggers, who have been destroying their lands in their search for "red gold" (rare mahogany) in Peru's rainforests. Jose Carlos dos Reis Meirelles Junior, head of the Indian Protection post near the Peru border, said in an urgent alert to the Brazilian government that, "We are on the verge of disaster. Illegal logging in protected areas in Peru is pushing the uncontacted tribes into Brazil, which could cause conflicts and lead to their appearance in places where they have never been seen before." Because of their isolation, the Indians, among some of the world's last uncontacted tribes, do not have immunity to diseases that could be contracted by contact with outsiders. Survival International director Stephen Corry said: "If it's not 'black gold', it's 'red gold'. The Peruvian government must act now to stop the logging on the uncontacted tribes' land. If it doesn't, they could be the first people to be made extinct in the 21st century." Visit <http://survival-international.org>.

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