A TRIBE of indians, who have never had contact with the outside world, has been discovered in the jungles of South America just days after a probe was landed on Mars to search for signs of life.
The extraordinary discovery in a remote part of the Amazon near the Brazil-Peru border was made by the crew of an aircraft who took photographs of the lost tribe as the warriors shot arrows and darts at the plane.
Already their future is under threat as a French company goes to court today with indian groups over its plans to drill for oil in parts of the jungle inhabited by some of the world’s last uncontacted tribes.
The company, Perenco, is working with the support of the government in a remote part of the Peruvian Amazon where at least two uncontacted tribes live.
Perenco acquired the rights to work in Peru after taking over a US company, Barrett Resources, earlier this year.
“We did the overflight to show their houses, to show they are there, to show they exist,” said Jose Carlos dos Reis Meirelles of the Brazilian Government’s indian affairs department.
“This is very important because there are some who doubt their existence.”
He said that the tribe’s numbers were increasing, but other uncontacted groups in the region, are in severe danger from illegal logging in Peru.
“What is happening in this region of Peru is a monumental crime against the natural world, the tribes, the fauna and is further testimony to the complete irrationality with which we, the ‘civilised’ ones, treat the world,” he said.
The director of British-based Survival, which supports tribes across the world, Stephen Corry said: “These pictures are further evidence that uncontacted tribes really do exist. The world needs to wake up to this, and ensure that their territory is protected in accordance with international law. Otherwise, they will soon be made extinct.”
The tribe captured in print this week is one of around a hundred tribes worldwide who have never been in touch with anyone from the outside world.
Aid groups say all are in grave danger of being forced off their land, by illegal logging, or attacked by diseases new to them.
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