Amazon Tribe Missing

Traffickers overrun protected area

Aug 9, 2011
Outside Magazine

Brazilian authorities are searching for an isolated Amazonian tribe after drug traffickers invaded a protected section of Amazon forest in July. The tribe, one of an estimated 100 living in the Amazon, was discovered in 2008 but has never interacted with the outside world. On July 23, five guards from FUNAI, the Brazilian agency dedicated to protecting indigenous groups, were forced from their post in the Javari Valley, near Brazil's border with Peru, by 40 heavily armed men. Brazlian police and members of the army later returned to the area and found a package containing 44 pounds of cocaine and a Peruvian citizen believed to be a trafficker. FUNAI employees have found no trace of the Xinane tribe, who were spotted by a flyover survey in 2008, apart from a broken arrow in a drug trafficker's abandoned pack. "We think the Peruvians made the Indians flee," Carlos Travassos, the head of FUNAI's isolated Indians department, said. "Now we have good proof. We are more worried than ever."

Read more at MSNBC