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In Amazonia, defending the hidden tribes
An article in the Washington Post recounts the difficulties to grant Amazonian tribes the rights they are entitled to when those tribes are largely unknown.
In Brazil alone there could be as much as 67 uncontacted tribes. Indigenous rights advocate argue that logging and mining should be limited in unexplored areas to prevent disrupting the tribes. In Peru, energy company interest groups reply that in the absence of evidence the tribes exist, there is no reason to stop the exploration and exploitation of natural resources. The new policy of the Brazilian government is to leave the initiative of contact to the isolated groups, but to protect the area where they are suspected to live.
However, the shrinking of the forest cover makes unexpected encounters with those groups more and more likely, raising the question of who has the legitimacy to speak for indigenous tribes and to determine what their best interest is.
Read the article here.
Posted By Anne-Sophie Samjee at 9:43am on July 10, 2007
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