A tribe of indigenous people who have had no prior contact with the modern world have suddenly emerged from the Amazon rainforest in Brazil.
Officials are calling the movement of the tribe, who recently made contact with a group of settled Indians, an alarming development, because it suggests the tribe are migrating to evade drug traffickers and illegal loggers.
LiveScience.com reported that according to the group Survival International, the lost tribe were first spotted in Brazil near the border with Peru.
Officials of Survival International have issued grave warnings that isolated tribes with no prior contact with the outside world are at an extreme risk of violence and disease as they enter new territory and encounter other people.
Former official with the Brazilian Indian Affairs Department FUNAL, José Carlos Meirelles, said in a statement:
“Something serious must have happened. It is not normal for such a large group of uncontacted Indians to approach in this way. This is a completely new and worrying situation, and we currently do not know what has caused it.”
It is now believed that the lost tribe crossed from Peru into Brazil as they fled from drug traffickers and illegal loggers who have set up camp in the territory.
The migration of the lost tribe could be a deadly development as they are now susceptible to clashes with other potentially hostile groups, and at risk of contracting contagious diseases to which they have no immunity.
The Zo’e tribe in northern Brazil suffered terrible losses when Christian missionaries established a base camp in the area in the 1980s.
Instead of spreading the word of god, as intended, the missionaries only managed to spread illnesses such as flu and malaria, which devastated the tribe.
The lost tribe were recently spotted close to the close to the home of the Ashaninka Indians in Brazil’s Acre state along the Envira River.
An indian from Brazil’s Acre state and member of Survival International, Nixiwaka Yawanawá, said in a statement:
“I am from the same area as them. It is very worrying that my relatives are at risk of disappearing. It shows the injustice that we face today. They are even more vulnerable because they can’t communicate with the authorities. Both governments must act now to protect and to stop a disaster against my people.”
The area where the lost tribe were last seen was the former sight of a government monitoring spot that was overrun by drug smugglers and illegal loggers in 2011.
Survival International director, Stephen Corry urged:
“International borders don’t exist for uncontacted tribes, which is why Peru and Brazil must work together to prevent lives being lost, Both governments must act now if their uncontacted citizens are to survive.”