Genocide: Brazilian Gold Miners Boast of Massacring Uncontacted Amazon Tribe

Brazil investigating report 10 members of Amazonian tribe killed by gold miners

Brazil investigating report 10 members of Amazonian tribe killed by gold miners

The miners were later heard allegedly boasting about the slaughter in a bar in the nearest town.

Leila Silvia Burger Sotto-Maior, a co-ordinator for Brazil's indigenous affairs agency, Funai, said the miners "even bragged about cutting up the bodies and throwing them in the river", the New York Times reports.

As of 2007, there were an estimated 67 uncontacted tribes in Brazil, which is the highest number in the world, with the island of New Guinea taking second place. The gold miners had a hand-carved paddle they said came from the tribe, according to Funai.

Funai filed a complaint with the prosecutor's office, prompting prosecutors to investigate the incident.

Sarah Shenker, senior campaigner from Survival International (a global indigenous rights group), said that if the reports are confirmed, "it will be yet another genocidal massacre resulting directly from the Brazilian government's failure to protect isolated tribes - something that is guaranteed in the Constitution". "There is a lot of evidence, but it needs to be proven", she said. Burnt communal houses of uncontacted Indians, seen in December 2016, could be signs of another massacre in the Uncontacted Frontier.

Because the tribe is believed to be quite small, a killing spree on this scale is understood to have wiped out a fifth of their population.

Isolated peoples are particularly vulnerable and indigenous groups in Brazil in general have complained that their way of life is increasingly under threat from land conflicts. The attack would have occurred in May but has not been confirmed.

Miners routinely encroach on the tribal lands, and land disputes have led to the deaths of at least 50 indigenous tribe members, rural workers and land activists through the first seven months of the year, Brazil's Land Pastoral Commission said.

"The slashing of funds has left dozens of uncontacted tribes defenceless against thousands of invaders", Survival International's director Stephen Corry said according to reports. Several government groups tasked with protecting uncontacted indigenous territories have recently had their funding slashed by the Brazilian government and have had to close down.

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