Uncontacted tribes are communities of people that have not had any significant interactions with global civilization. There are now less than 100 tribes of uncontacted peoples living in the world today as they are frequently threatened by individuals who enter their land with the intent to acquire its resources.

Gold miners massacre uncontacted tribe members

Illegal gold miners in Brazil allegedly attacked an Amazonian Tribe as men from the tribe were collecting eggs along the Amazon river, says Funai, the Brazilian agency of indigenous affairs.

According to the reports, the miners went to a bar and boasted about the massacre as they showed off spoils taken from the men.

They also bragged about cutting up the bodies, severing hands and feet before throwing them into the river, then allegedly claimed that they either had to kill or be killed.

The killings were said to have taken place last month in the Javari Valley, and after interviews with people who allegedly witnessed the men’s crude bar talk, the agency of indigenous affairs took the case to police.

Prosecutor Pablo Luz de Beltrand, who is now in charge of the case, stated that though the investigation had started, there would be some difficulty as the territories are large and access to it is limited. He revealed that this would be the second slaughter of this kind he investigated this year.

Since the tribes are uncontacted and must remain so, it has been difficult to glean information on the matter.

It is Brazil’s policy to let tribes remain uncontacted while they work to prevent outsiders from stealing their land and keep them safe. This is done to preserve their autonomy.

Funding cut for the indigenous

According to reports from the New York Times, Sarah Shenker, a senior campaigner from Survival International said that because the tribes are so small, it is quite likely that large portions of them have been wiped out.

It's hard to ascertain the exact dates or numbers of deaths that occur. Due to disputes over land, a precious resource, many tribes, rural workers, and activists have been met with acts of violence and terror. In 2011, an entire tribe disappeared after being attacked with extreme violence by heavily armed drug dealers who had overturned a Funai outpost.

Funai claims that the government has let down these indigenous peoples by reducing their agency’s funding as they have had to reduce staff and cut back guard posts. Uncontacted Tribes are vulnerable as their isolation means that they have not been exposed to the technological advancements and weapons of the outside world. They have no way of preparing for these dangers and are usually slaughtered. Without an adequate amount of outposts and people to guard them, they face extinction as many seek to capture their lands at any cost to use for their own gain.

Indigenous leaders and environmental groups have come forward in the past to try to take legal action against those who threaten them, but many of them are assassinated, and their cases remain unsolved.