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Peru: Campaigner Investigates Amazon Tribes


14 November 2006

Peru: Survival Campaigner Investigates Uncontacted Amazon Tribes

A Survival campaigner has recently returned from a trip to the Peruvian Amazon to identify areas inhabited by uncontacted tribes.

David Hill, 28, travelled to the remote upper reaches of the Las Piedras, Yurua and Curanja rivers, gathering information about uncontacted peoples and the threats they face.

Hill says, 'The purpose of my trip was to find out as much as possible about these people without actually meeting them, although some uncontacted Indians did arrive unexpectedly one night in the village I was staying in.

'Illegal mahogany logging is the biggest threat. I was shocked by reports of loggers regularly killing Indians, and by how open the mahogany trade is. Oil exploration is the other big threat. It opens up remote parts of the rainforest to outsiders, including more loggers, who introduce fatal diseases to the isolated tribes. More than half of one tribe died following oil exploration in the1980s.

'The Peruvian government must act quickly to end oil exploration on the land of uncontacted Indians, and remove all illegal loggers. Otherwise these tribes face extinction.'

It is estimated there are about 15 uncontacted tribes in Peru. The majority are nomadic hunter-gatherers, moving across very large areas of the Amazon rainforest.


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