Loggers Threaten Remote Amazon Tribe

Despite court order, outsiders refuse to leave Awa lands
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 20, 2013 2:30 PM CDT
Loggers Threaten Remote Amazon Tribe
In this 2011 photo by Survival International, Awa Indians in the remote Amazon point their bow and arrows.   (AP Photo/Survival International)

Illegal loggers and settlers deep in the Brazilian rainforest are refusing a court order to leave land that belongs to the shrinking Awa tribe, some of whose members have never encountered outsiders, reports LiveScience. A Brazilian judge ordered the loggers off the Awa land last year and gave them a March 2013 deadline, but the organization responsible for the evictions says it needs more manpower and help from police.

"It's not too late for the Awa, but it soon will be," says the director of Survival International, a group that supports the rights of tribal peoples. Only about 450 members of the tribe are left, about a quarter of whom are considered "uncontacted,"making them especially prone to disease if they cross paths with non-Awas. Deforestation may be a bigger threat—the tribe already has lost tree cover on about 30% of its largest swath of land, a 463-square-mile territory. (Read more Brazil stories.)

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