Brazil launches high-risk expedition to protect isolated tribe


Brazil’s agency for indigenous peoples has sent off a rare and high-risk expedition, hoping to contact a small, isolated group in the Amazon and reunite its members with some of their relatives, saying the move is necessary to avoid bloodshed in an area near the border with Peru.

A team of nearly two dozen sponsored by the Funai agency headed up the Coari river over the weekend looking for the group of at least 22 people who are members of the widespread Korubo indigenous community and live in the Javari valley, in the northern state of Amazonas. Brazil’s army, federal police and health ministry are backing the initiative, which could take weeks.

The last time Funai organized such a big expedition was in 1996, also in that region. The Javari valley, an area of more than 8m hectares (nearly 31,000 sq miles), or bigger than Hungary, is home to the biggest concentration of isolated indigenous peoples in Brazil, amounting to at least 11 groups.(theguardian)…[+]