NGO releases new pictures of Brazil's isolated Amazon tribe
A non-governmental group on Tuesday released new pictures of an Indian tribe living in isolation in the Brazilian Amazon, saying they vindicated the decision to create "the biggest forested indigenous territory in the world."
Survival International, a London-based group lobbying to protect tribal people, said it released new pictures of "an uncontacted Yanomami village in Brazil, 20 years after one of its crucial campaigns created the biggest forested indigenous territory in the world."
"These new pictures emphasize how important the territory is in protecting the Yanomami from goldminers who devastated the tribe in the 1980s," it added in a statement.
Illegal goldmining camps continue to operate just 15 kilometers (nine miles) from uncontacted Yanomami, according to Survival.
Straddling the northern Brazilian states of Amazonas and Roraima, along the border with Venezuela, the Yanomani territory was officially created in 1992.
The Yanomami suffered years of oppression at the hands of gold miners. Violence and disease saw their population fall by 20 percent in just seven years.
With gold prices soaring on the international markets, the gold miners are back in the region.
"Many tribal peoples, including the uncontacted Yanomami, are still threatened by the illegal occupation of their land, so we cant afford to give up the fight," said Survivals head Stephen Corry. "The very existence of uncontacted Yanomami, however, proves that persistent campaigning pays off.
The Yanomami group Hutukara, which has a partnership with Survival, told AFP Tuesday that an amateur Yanomami photographer, Morsamiel Iramari, took the pictures of the isolated tribe in Roraima state, after a 10-day search and several overflights with a plane provided by the Indigenous National Foundation (Funai).
"The Yanomami (those who do not live in isolation) would go hunt in the forest and would be hit with arrows," said Ailton da Silva, the Hutukara coordinator. "At first, they thought this was caused by aggressive spirits of the forest."
(c) 2011 AFP