Uncontacted tribe in the Amazon and drug trafficing

Those of us who have seen the movie Avatar, which portrayed  the potential conflict between environmentally based tribal living and the corporate search for profit, may be interested in the breaking story unfolding in Brazil.  Please realize that I believe in corporate profits, and the good corporations do.  They provide jobs and often support many worthy local, national and international causes.  Our whole mission at the iF Foundation is to create jobs in the developing world.  So this is not an anti-corporate message.  It is just that Avatar painted the conflict that way.  But this conflict we are learning about is quite different.

In Brazil, (and in other countries with rural and protected habitats) there are many uncontacted tribes living in the Amazon who are untouched by the influence and values of the outside world.  These native tribes are protected by their national governments and left alone to live off the land.  This tribe lived close to the border of Peru and the suspicion is that a group armed with machine guns came into their habitat, with the sole intent of fueling the large profits they derive from the drug trafficking that is such a big “industry”.  The destruction of the native tribe may have been seen by them as the obstacle in the way of their goal to further their drug dealings.  The fear is that they came in and either displaced or God forbid slaughtered this tribe.  I hope this breaking story is incorrect and the tribe will be found safe.  But if what they fear is true, then it shows again the dark side of humanity, and how greed for money can overcome human decency which calls upon us to care for each other.  If the fears in this breaking story are true, it is yet another sad day in human history.

The world the iF Foundation works in has all of the darkness and evil which thrives in conditions of poverty.  In Haiti and Ghana we have children sold into slavery, we have the rape of women with no repercussions, we have people reduced to eating mud cookies because they have no food, we have a lack of justice when someone “takes” what is not theirs (valuables, forced sexual relations, hope, etc.).  The people in Haiti and Ghana can become numb from living without opportunity and hope.  They become used to living with no recourse to justice.  The Indians in Brazil obviously only desired to live in peace and harmony with nature.  Sadly it appears that the outside world seeking a fortune in drugs, may not have left them alone.  It is ironic that much of the developing world lives in anonymity, forgotten, left to struggle.   While the extreme of the life style of the Amazon uncontacted tribe may not be quite like Haiti and Ghana, the concept of living off the land because the land is all they have is similar.

At the iF Foundation I am thankful that when invited to do so we move into rural areas and try to make a difference by enabling small groups to choose a future for themselves.   They choose how they want to define their future and we support their choices.  It is a win/win situation and by our being present to them, not to kill and take their land for our corporate underground drug running, they live with opportunity, which leads to development, which leads to hope.  We do this because Mr. Iovino and his family really do care.  Many of you have joined us in our efforts with your own financial support.  Thanks for caring with us!  May God have mercy on the uncontacted tribe in the Amazon who are feared dead.

The Rev. Canon James E. Byrum

One Response to “Uncontacted tribe in the Amazon and drug trafficing”

  1. Eileen August 9, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

    This is really horrible….

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