World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Brazil begins operation to save threatened tribe

At last! Brazil begins long-awaited operation to save Earth’s most threatened tribe

6 January 2014


After months of campaigning by Survival International, Brazil’s government has launched a major ground operation to evict illegal invaders from the land of the Awá, Earth’s most threatened tribe .

Soldiers, field workers from Brazil’s indigenous affairs department FUNAI, Environment Ministry special agents and police officers are being dispatched to notify and remove the illegal settlers, ranchers and loggers – many of whom are heavily armed – from the Awá indigenous territory in the North-Eastern Brazilian Amazon.

The operation comes at a crucial time as loggers are closing in on the tribe and more than 30% of the forest has already been destroyed.

In June 2013 Brazil’s military launched a ground operation against illegal logging around the land of the Awá. The forces closed down at least eight saw mills and confiscated and destroyed other machinery, but they did not remove the loggers and ranchers from inside the Indians’ land.

An Awá man told Survival, ‘For a long time we’ve been asking for the invaders to be removed… we don’t want to see the loggers destroying our forest. We like to see the forest standing.’

This break-through operation follows a high-profile campaign by Survival International, which has been backed by celebrities such as Hollywood stars Colin Firth and Gillian Anderson, UK fashion designer Vivienne Westwoodand Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado, who recently visited the tribe to document their plight.

Salgado’s images and the Awá’s shocking story reached millions of people worldwide as they were featured in Vanity Fair, the Sunday Times and Brazilian news outlet O Globo.

Since the launch of the campaign in April 2012, Survival’s supporters have sent more than 55,000 letters to Brazil’s Minister of Justice, urging him to evict the invaders, and have spread the campaign’s awáicon logoaround the world’s landmarks, such as Brazil’s Sugarloaf Mountain, South Africa’s Table Mountain, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the Americas’ leading human rights body, also demanded answers from the Brazilian government, having received an urgent petition from Survival and Brazilian NGO CIMI.

As a result of the global campaign, the Awá were put at the top of FUNAI’s priority list in April 2012, but it has taken the government until now to start evicting the illegal invaders, while more forest has been destroyed.


The Awá are one of the last nomadic hunter-gatherer tribes in Brazil and depend entirely on the rainforest. They have been finding it increasingly difficult to find game and are scared to go hunting for fear of encountering the armed loggers.

Around 100 Awá are uncontacted and are particularly vulnerable to attacks and the spread of diseases to which they have little immunity.

Survival has welcomed the start of the evictions operation, and is now urging the Brazilian authorities to put in place a long-term solution to stop the invaders from returning, and to guarantee the safety of the 450-strong tribe.

Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said today, ‘This is a momentous and potentially life-saving occasion for the Awá. Their many thousands of supporters worldwide can be proud of the change they have helped the tribe bring about. But all eyes are now on Brazil to ensure it completes the operation before the World Cup kicks off in June, and protects Awá land once and for all

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN: Urgent Action To End Female Genital Mutilation UN: Urgent Action To End Female Genital Mutilation

New UN data shows need for urgent action to end female genital mutilation, child marriage More>>

World News: SRI LANKA: Justice Denied To Two Child Victims Of Rape
There have been reports of an alleged abduction and rape of an eleven-year-old girl by a group of Navy officers, and of another nine-year-old girl treated in a similar manner. More>>

‘Global Epidemic’ Of Anti-Semitism NGO Urges UN To Condemn ‘global Epidemic’ Of Anti-Semitism

French riot police officers face rioters in Sarcelles, a suburb north of Paris, on July 20, 2014. More>>


IDF Falsifies Photograph To Justify Bombing El-Wafa Hospital IDF Falsifies Photograph To Justify Bombing El-Wafa Hospital

On the 21st July at 2:17 PM, the IDF spokesperson released an image on twitter showing an aerial picture of a building marked as ‘Al-Wafa’ hospital. In the image there is a red circle, which they designated as the location from which a M75 rocket was ... More>>

MH17: Black Boxes Recovered by Malaysian Government

'Following the agreement Prime Minister Najib Razak brokered with rebel leaders, Malaysia has taken custody of flight MH17's black boxes. As the Prime Minister said, they will be passed to the international investigation team for analysis. More>>

ALSO:


Gaza Update On 15th Day Of The Israeli Offensive

Dozens of Palestinian Civilians Killed or Wounded as Israeli Forces Attack Apartment Buildings, Mosques, Hospitals and Schools; White Phosphorous Bombs and Flechette Shells Fired by Israeli Forces in Border Areas... More>>

Al Jazeera: Egypt Verdict Defies Logic And Any Semblance Of Justice

Following today’s verdict in Cairo, Al Jazeera English managing director Al Anstey said: “Today three colleagues and friends were sentenced, and will continue behind bars for doing a brilliant job of being great journalists. More>>


Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news