A doctor provides health care in Vale do Javari, an indigenous reserve in Brazil. Photo: Alejandro Zambrana / Sesai

Authorities in Brazil open investigation into reported 'genocide' of isolated tribe

Federal prosecutors in Brazil have opened an investigation into a reported "genocide" at an isolated tribal community.

Fundação Nacional do Índio, or FUNAI, the nation's indigenous affairs agency, confirmed the investigation in a press release on Monday. The agency said it has yet to confirm whether anyone in Vale do Javari, a large reservation in the Amazons, has been killed but one official told The New York Times that miners were heard bragging about the alleged crime.

“It was crude bar talk,” Leila Silvia Burger Sotto-Maior, the ageny's coordinator for uncontacted and recently contacted tribes, told The Times “They even bragged about cutting up the bodies and throwing them in the river.”

In a press release, Survival International, a volunteer group, said “more than ten" people from the community might have been killed. That would represent up to a fifth of the particular tribe, according to the group.

Two miners have been arrested in connection with the probe, Survival International said. Miners, loggers and ranchers have been known to encroach on reservations and engage in violence with tribal communities.

Read More on the Story:
‘Uncontacted’ Amazon Tribe Members Are Reported Killed in Brazil (The New York Times September 10, 2017)
Brazil Probes Possible Killings of 'Uncontacted' Tribe (The Associated Press September 11, 2017)
Authorities: Gold miners at a bar bragged about slaughtering members of a reclusive Brazilian tribe (The Washington Post September 11, 2017)