Brazil accused of not protecting IndiansApril 18, 2013 @ 10:55 am
SAO PAULO (AP) - Brazil's government has failed to comply with a court order to protect the Awa indigenous people in the Amazon jungles, a British-based Indian rights group said Thursday.
Survival International said in a statement that authorities have ignored a federal judge's deadline "to evict all invaders from the heartland of Earth's most threatened tribe by the end of March." It said the deadline passed and not a single illegal logger or settler has been evicted.
On March 12, 2012, judge Jirair Aram Meguerian ordered that all the loggers and settlers should be removed within 12 months.
The organization said the Awa tribe "is at extreme risk of extinction."
It added that Funai, Brazil's indigenous affairs agency was "still waiting for support from the Justice Ministry, the federal police and central government to evict the invaders."
Funai's press office said it had no immediate comment. Calls to the Justice Ministry and federal police went unanswered.
Survival International said that more than 30 percent of Awa territory has been deforested and that loggers are "rapidly closing in on their communities and have already been marking trees for deforestation.
It quotes an Awa Indian called Haikaramoka'a, as saying: "The loggers are ruining our forest. They have built roads. We are scared; they could go after the uncontacted Indians. We are scared because the loggers could kill us, and the uncontacted Indians."
About 100 of the 450 Awa remain uncontacted and are at particular risk of diseases brought in by the outsiders. Survival International said.
(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
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