Isolated Tribe Says Elders Were Murdered

Also, video shows young members' first contact

By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 1, 2014 9:41 AM CDT
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(Newser) – A video that purports to show footage of first contact with a formerly isolated tribe on the Brazil-Peru border has been released by Brazil's FUNAI agency, along with some disturbing news from tribe members themselves. As had been hinted at in previous reports, some of the younger members say they witnessed horrific attacks on their elders, reportedly at the hands of drug traffickers and illegal loggers, reports Live Science. Experts are pleading for immediate protection to fend off what they see as a possible "genocide," reports tribal rights group Survival International. Contrasting with images in the video of young tribe members trading bananas and hanging out by the water are the tales of death and destruction relayed to an interpreter.

"The majority of old people were massacred by non-Indians in Peru, who shot at them with firearms and set fire to the houses of the uncontacted," he says. So many were killed that they either got buried en masse (sometimes three to a grave) or their corpses were devoured by vultures. "If they don’t make things secure for whoever turns up there, unfortunately we’ll repeat history and we will be jointly responsible for the extermination of these people," says a FUNAI worker. (Several tribe members have reportedly contracted the flu since coming into contact with the modern world.)

File photo of an isolated tribe seen by Brazil's National Indian Foundation (FUNAI) last year.
File photo of an isolated tribe seen by Brazil's National Indian Foundation (FUNAI) last year.   (AP Photo/FUNAI)
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Video footage of what is reported to be first contact with an isolated tribe near the Brazil-Peru has been released.   (YouTube)

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