A couple days ago, it was reported that illegal gold miners massacred 10 members of an uncontacted indigenous Amazonian tribe.
Brazilian authorities launched an investigation, and a complaint was filed with the prosecutor’s office in Amazonas. A group of miners were recorded bragging about the murders.
However bodies have not been found and solid evidence has not yet surfaced, leading some people to call the boasting “crude bar talk.”
According to the Independent:
It is the second such incident this year. Investigators said they were looking into claims of another killing of uncontacted indigenous people that allegedly happened in February. Rights groups blamed austerity measures for an increase in attacks.
Brazil’s president Michel Temer has overseen deep cuts to funding for indigenous affairs, resulting in Funai closing five of 19 bases used to protect uncontacted communities. At the end of August it emerged Mr Temer’s government had abolished the protected status of a vast portion of the Amazon rainforest.
Mr Temer is facing a barrage of corruption charges, which he denies, and critics claim he is attempting to win the support of mining lobbies to protect him from being ousted.
In 2016, the Yanomami tribe in Roraima (Brazil) shot dead 6 illegal goldminers with arrows. Perhaps this is an act of self defense due to something the gold miners are doing to their land.
Mercury is used in the extraction of gold, though it is unknown whether it was used in these particular stories. We know that mercury contaminates the Amazon, particularly Ecuador due to the activities of multinational petrochemical giant Chevron and others.
This was exposed on an episode of the Empire Files with Abby Martin.
Whatever happened, the world’s few remaining indigenous tribes deserve the public’s watchful eye and protection. In many ways they haven’t been tainted by “modern life.”