Brazil Moves To Prevent 'Massacre' of Amazon Tribe by Drug Gangs

"Brazilian indigenous protection officers to make emergency visit to isolated community facing threat from heavily armed gangs."

"The head of Brazil's indigenous protection service is to make an emergency visit to a remote jungle outpost, amid fears that members of an isolated Amazon tribe may have been 'massacred' by drug traffickers.

Fears for the tribe's wellbeing have been escalating since late July when a group of heavily armed Peruvian traffickers reportedly invaded its land, triggering a crisis in the remote border region between Brazil and Peru.

On 5 August Brazilian federal police launched an operation in the region, arresting Joaquim Antônio Custódio Fadista, a Portuguese man alleged to have been operating as a cocaine trafficker.

But after the police pulled out, officers with the indigenous protection service (Funai) decided to return fearing a 'massacre'. They claimed that groups of men with rifles and machine guns were still at large in the rainforest. Reports suggest the traffickers may have been attempting to set up new smuggling routes, running through the tribe's land."

Tom Phillips reports for the Guardian August 9, 2011.

Source: Guardian, 08/10/2011