Re­mote Ama­zon tribe kills il­le­gal gold min­ers: Of­fi­cials

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

RIO DE JANEIRO: Mem­bers of a re­mote Ama­zon rain­for­est in­dige­nous tribe have shot dead six il­le­gal gold min­ers with ar­rows, Brazil­ian of­fi­cials said Fri­day. Brazil’s Fu­nai agency, which han­dles in­dige­nous af­fairs, said that the killings were car­ried out by the Yanomami tribe in the Ama­zo­nian state of Ro­raima on the fron­tier with Venezuela. “The deaths were re­ported to us by the Yanomami peo­ple’s as­so­ci­a­tion and a team from Fu­nai is pre­par­ing to travel there,” a spokesman told AFP.

A po­lice spokesman for Ro­raima state told AFP that “the causes of the con­flict are not known.” The Yanomami are one of the Ama­zon’s largest rel­a­tively iso­lated tribes, with an es­ti­mated pop­u­la­tion of about 35,000, ac­cord­ing to ad­vo­cacy group Sur­vival In­ter­na­tional.

Their pris­tine an­ces­tral lands have been steadily en­croached upon by il­le­gal gold min­ers who are blamed for in­tro­duc­ing new dis­eases and pol­lut­ing the rivers and forest. The Yanomami are also un­der pres­sure from cat­tle ranch­ers on the fringes of their rain­for­est ter­ri­tory.

Po­lice said they would ac­com­pany Fu­nai to the area, prob­a­bly next week, and that the killings oc­curred at the start of the month but had only been con­firmed now.

“We don’t know the mo­tive for the con­flict be­cause the tribes peo­ple from the vil­lage where the deaths oc­curred told us by ra­dio that they will not ex­plain what hap­pened un­til we per­son­ally go there,” Ju­nior Hekuari, chair­man of the Yanomami as­so­ci­a­tion, told G1 news site. —AFP

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