‘Worse than it ever was’: Why the Amazon’s largest isolated tribe is dying – by Jack Nicas (Irish Times – March 29, 2023)


The illegal tin mine was so remote that, for three years, the large gash it cut into the Amazon rainforest had gone largely ignored. So when three mysterious helicopters suddenly hovered overhead, unannounced, the miners living there scrambled into the forest.

By the time Brazil’s environmental special forces team piled out, the miners were out of sight, but the mine’s two large pumps were still vibrating in the mud. The federal agents began dousing the machines in diesel fuel.

As they were set to ignite them, about two dozen Indigenous people came jogging out of the forest, carrying bows and arrows taller than them. They were from the Yanomami tribe and the miners had been destroying their land – and their tribe – for years.

But as the Yanomami arrived, they realised these new visitors were there to help. The agents were dismantling the mine and then promised to give the Yanomamis the miners’ supplies. “Friends are not miners, no,” said the only Yanomami man who spoke basic Portuguese, with other men crowding around.

For the rest of this article: https://www.irishtimes.com/life-style/people/2023/03/29/worse-than-it-ever-was-why-the-amazons-largest-isolated-tribe-is-dying/