Sunday, September 14, 2008
Loggers still a threat to Amazon Indians
BRASILIA (Reuters) - Isolated native Indians in the Amazon forest of Brazil and Peru remain threatened by advancing loggers despite growing international attention to their plight, a senior Brazilian official said on Thursday.
"Pressure from Peruvian loggers continues, it's a concern," Marcio Meira, head of the government's Indian affairs agency, Funai, told the foreign press association in Brasilia.
Brazil's Acre state along the border with Peru is one of the world's last refuges for such groups, but increasing activity by wildcat miners and loggers puts them at risk.
Dramatic pictures of pigment-covered Indians from the region threatening the photographer's aircraft with bows and arrows were carried in May by media worldwide.
The Peruvian ambassador to Brazil subsequently told Meira his government was concerned about the issue and preparing measures, without detailing what these were.
Brazil has 26 confirmed native Indian tribes that live with little or no contact with the outside world. There are unconfirmed reports of an additional 35 such groups.
Many of them live in the forest like their forefathers did centuries ago, hunting and gathering.
The painting is by Laura Tasheiko