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Isolated Amazon Indians say hello to world

IANS | Last Updated: Saturday, July 5, 2014 - 15:57

New York: A vulnerable group of indigenous people from Brazil`s Amazon rainforest with no history of contact with the outside world has reached out to a settlement of indigenous people on the Brazil-Peru border.

For several weeks the Ashaininka Indians, settled near the Envira River in Brazil border had been seeing signs of a different group of indigenous population close to their settlements, Survival International reported.
The previously uncontacted population appears healthy, but they have no immunity to common diseases such as flu and measles which have wiped out entire tribes in the past.

As they travel, the tribe may be at risk of contracting contagious diseases against which they have no immunity.

"Something serious must have happened," Jose Carlos Meirelles, a former official with the Brazilian Indian Affairs Department FUNAI, was quoted as saying.
"It is not normal for such a large group of uncontacted Indians to approach in this way. This is a completely new and worrying situation, and we currently do not know what has caused it," Meirelles added.

Advocates think the indigenous people crossed into Brazil from Peru to escape drug traffickers and illegal loggers who started working in their territory.

"It is very worrying that my relatives are at risk of disappearing. It shows the injustice that we face today," said Nixiwaka Yawanawa, a member of the Amazon tribe Yawanawa, who joined Survival to speak out for the rights of such indigenous peoples, said.

"They are even more vulnerable because they can not communicate with the authorities," Yawanawa added.

First Published: Saturday, July 5, 2014 - 15:57

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