Thursday, January 12, 2012

Amazon girl burned alive by loggers: one story among hundreds of unreported deaths

 An eight-year-old girl from one of the last uncontacted tribes in the Amazon was captured by loggers in Brazil, tied to a tree, and then burned alive, the Telegraph reports. She was killed as part of a campaign to move the indigenous people off their land.

Brazilian authorities said Thursday they had not found evidence she was burned alive but that the presence of illegal loggers in the area was confirmed.

It is a shocking story, but one that Scott Wallace, author of “The Unconquered: In Search of the Amazon’s Last Uncontacted Tribes,” says likely happens more often than we know.

“The jungle is so dense, the distance is so vast, that these kind of things can happen on a pretty regular basis. One of biggest problems is budgeting personnel and resources to enforce the law when resources are scant.”

In this instance, the child is said to have wandered away from the village where her 60-person Awá tribe resides, totally isolated from the modern world. The village is in a protected reserve in the north-eastern state of Maranhão, which has huge iron ore deposits and valuable timber.

“She was from another tribe, they live deep in the jungle, and have no contact with the outside world,” Luis Carlos Guajajaras, a local leader from a separate tribe, told a Brazilian news Web site. “It would have been the first time she had ever seen white men. We heard that they laughed as they burned her to death.” More

 And who buys timber and other products from the Amazon? Editor