In a rare event that few people have ever witnessed, a previously isolated tribe encountered the outside world for the first time – and the surprising moment was all caught on video. Several indigenous people emerged from deep inside the Amazon seeking help after their village suffered a deadly attack by probable drug traffickers. The armed tribesmen asked for weapons and allies, saying that their village had been massacred by non-indigenous people. The video encounter shows people offering the tribesmen food and attempting to communicate using enthusiastic gestures as two separate worlds collide.
There are over 75 tribes in the Amazon who have remained uncontacted by the outside world, and in the past, many of these tribes were threatened and killed by loggers illegally encroaching on Amazon forest. Today, with Peru emerging as the biggest producer of the coca leaf – which is used in making cocaine – it is now drug traffickers who are killing the indigenous people in the area. At the same time, oil and gas exploration has also put stress on these populations as they are forced to move away from the industries moving deeper and deeper into the Amazon.
Related: Peru Declares an Environmental Emergency in the Amazon
The encounter took place on the border of Brazil near a town called Acre. These particular tribesmen come from a group consisting of an estimated 40 to 50 people and, according to the tribesmen, many elderly people were killed as non-indigenous people shot at them and lit their homes on fire. To make matters worse, after coming in contact with the people in Acre and wearing their clothing, the tribesmen came down with a flu-like disease. The men were treated and returned home once they were well, but experts warn that it is essential to avoid contact with indigenous people because a single virus has the potential to wipe out an entire population. Unfortunately, many outsiders ignore these warnings and are likely to encounter more tribes as they continue to be forced out of their villages by drug trafficking, putting indigenous populations at further risk.
You can watch the footage released by FUNAI of the amazing encounter here.
Via The Guardian
Images via FUNAI