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Brazilian Tribe On Brink of Extinction

Brazilian Tribe On Brink of Extinction

A Brazilian government agency says that it has as its top priority saving the Amazon Aw tribe — as Survival International says that a new government survey finds them outnumbered ten-to-one by invaders.

The survey estimates that there could be up to 4,500 ranchers, loggers and settlers now occupying just one of the four territories inhabited by the Aw, whose total population now stands at no more than 450, many living uncontacted in the remaining forest, many of them survivors of brutal massacres. Hired guns are known to have been paid $60 per Aw head by unscrupulous landowners and speculators in the past.

They live in the North East of Brazil, in the Maranhao State, at the heart of the Tiracambu sierra.

The government has been receiving tens of thousands of messages following a campaign launched last month by the actor Colin Firth — you can take action here.

The tribes land is being destroyed faster than that of any other Amazon tribe. As the rainy season ends, one of their main hunting areas is now being targeted by loggers. An Aw man named Armadillo told Survival International: “How will we live without the forest?”

The government agency for indigenous people (FUNAI) says that saving the Aw is its top priority but Brazilian Justice Minister Jose Eduardo Cardozo has yet to meet the campaign’s demand to send in federal police to clear out the invaders.

Said Survival International Director Stephen Corry:

Brazil is one of the world’s most important countries with one of its most dynamic economies, and it certainly has the resources to protect Awa land. Can it deliver?

If not, and the Aw are destroyed, then is this new ‘economic miracle’ just for the rich and powerful?

Related stories:

Colin Firth Pleads for Uncontacted Tribes Survival (Video)

Loggers Burn Child Alive in Amazon (Video)

New Pictures of Uncontacted Amazonian Tribe

Read more: , , , , , ,

Photo credit: courtesy of Survival International

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4:36PM PDT on May 26, 2013

Signed,with hope for these threatened people. So tragic,so sad.

7:58PM PDT on Jun 27, 2012


2:41AM PDT on Jun 8, 2012

colleen p, don't be silly. We don't allow real women to be shown in the media.

10:36AM PDT on May 28, 2012


10:08AM PDT on May 27, 2012

So very sad

7:12PM PDT on May 25, 2012

Leave these people and their land alone!!

11:39AM PDT on May 25, 2012

Good going Mr. Firth. Now if people will only listen!!!

3:20PM PDT on May 24, 2012

Thats terrible !!! thanks for posting...

12:24PM PDT on May 24, 2012

Thats terrible. Thanks for posting. I'm signing the petition.

11:41AM PDT on May 24, 2012

Just leave these wonderful people alone. Stop the greed.

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