Awa Under Siege: Brazil’s Lumber Refugees

This could be a story of America’s west one hundred years ago and we all (almost all) grieve about the maltreatment of our indigenous peoples.  Custer, The Choctaw’s Long March, the indian wars, ad nauseum.  

While we grieve, Brazil’s indigenous have been undergoing the same forces of  eradication and genocide by loggers and cattle farmers throughout areas of Brazil (where indigenous groups still exist).  The destruction can be seen in satellite images as roads intrude on the interior,  at dams under construction (Belo Monte).  

While Brazil has government agencies to protect the environment and native peoples, they have been largely ineffective.  If there was a will to protect the defenseless there would be satellite and on the ground monitoring of hot spots of illegal logging, mining, and cattle ranching.  

As it is all Brazil has to do is copy all of North America’s history of our indigenous and change the names so tomorrow’s Brazilians can grieve for their dead indigenous. -Carlos


Brazil: ‘Evidence Of Attack’ Discovered Where Indian Child Was Reportedly ‘Burned Alive’

An investigation into the reported killing of an uncontacted Indian child by loggers, has uncovered disturbing ‘evidence of an attack’ deep in the Amazon forest.  The findings suggest loggers were operating 400 meters away from an uncontacted Awá camp where the burned remains of a child were allegedly found.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G3YtYx8SXso

Brazilian NGO CIMI External link, The Order of Attorneys of Brazil and the Maranhão Human Rights Society, who jointly carried out the investigation, also found, ‘many indications that the Awá had been in the place of the reported incident.’  The team discovered the remains of four fires, as well as clear evidence of the Awá’s search for honey, and bindings used to help them climb trees.  However, CIMI says, ‘loggers’ tractors drove over the Awá’s camp, destroying everything. From the signs we can say that it was a large vehicle.’

The uncontacted Awá live in Brazil’s Amazon in an indigenous territory, but illegal logging is destroying much of their forest.  CIMI believes around four families lived at the camp, 6 kilometers away from members of the Guajajara tribe, who reported the body’s discovery.  Clovis Guajajara told the delegation he was, ‘very upset about the destruction’ and believed the Awá were scared away when they saw the loggers’ clearing.

The Brazilian government’s Indian Affairs Department, FUNAI External link, is conducting its own investigation, and says the child’s death has not been confirmed.  The Awá have suffered brutal attacks at the hands of loggers who have threatened to kill them.  Survival International is lobbying the Brazilian government to evict the vast numbers of illegal loggers who risk wiping out one of the world’s last nomadic hunter-gatherer tribes.

Source: Survival International External link

For more information on this  subject, the following link has video: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2012/01/10/brazil-murder-indigenous-child-awa-guaja/

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About carlos

I'm a curious person, of reasonable intellect, "on the beach" (retired) and enjoying my interest in anthropology, language, civil rights, and a few other areas. I've been a hippie/student/aerospace tech writer in the '60s, a witness to the Portuguese revolution in the ‘70s, a defense test engineer and witness to the Guatemalan genocide in the '80s, and a network engineer for an ISP in the '90s. Now I’m a student and commentator until my time is up. I've spent time under the spell of the Mesoamerican pyramids and the sweet sound of the Portuguese language. I've lived in Europe, traveled in Brazil, Central America, Iceland, New Zealand, and other places. My preferred mode of travel is with a backpack and I eat (almost) anything local. Somehow, many of the countries I have been to have had civil unrest (for which I was not responsible). I'm open to correspond with anyone who might share my liberal, humanist interests. I live in San Buenaventura, California.
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