Brazil’s indigenous agency fails to protect uncontacted Amazon peoples

A Funai expedition in 2021 encountered a previously undiscovered group of indigenous people living in the southern Amazon — since then, the agency has done nothing to protect this highly vulnerable community

Brazil's indigenous agency fails to protect uncontacted Amazon peoples
Photo: Sergio Lima/Folhapress

Between August and October last year, an expedition by Brazil’s National Indigenous Foundation (Funai) encountered a group of uncontacted indigenous people in the south of Amazonas state. According to experts, the community is made up of a few dozen individuals living in a forest close to the town of Lábrea, some 720 kilometers from the state capital of Manaus. The region is outside the limits of any of Brazil’s sanctioned indigenous territories, meaning they are completely unprotected against the threat of violence or trespassing.

The discovery was confirmed after coming across a series of artifacts — such as...

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