This past summer news broke about more than 100 members of the Mashco-Piro clan, an Indian tribe that lives in voluntary isolation, which attempted to make contact in Peru.
Many point to illegal logging, drug smuggling, and oil and gas exploration in their territory as the cause for the unexpected contact as reported by ICTMN.
Last week more than 200 Mashco-Piro Indians arrived in the community of Monte Salvado where villagers, who belong to the Yine tribe, say the Mashco-Piro ransacked homes and stole metal goods before retreating into the forest according to Survival International.
The village of Monte Salvado is the same village, the Mashco-Piro were videotaped earlier this year requesting food and metal tools.
This time around, the village was pretty empty as many of the villagers were away, traveling for local elections only to return to their homes destroyed. Now the Monte Salvado villagers will be evacuated by boat – 55 of them, who have taken refuge in guard posts will be evacuated today.
As Survival states, the lands are Mashco-Piro ancestral lands, and this was the third visit to the village in 2014 alone. These uncontacted visits are not uncommon as indigenous groups occasionally make contact in search of machetes and other metal goods.
FENAMAD, a local indigenous organization, has requested the Peruvian government to protect the Mashco-Piro’s land which has continuously been overrun by logging concessions and drug traffickers. The government, however, recently announced a new oil exploration block near the reserve that typically offers protection to the Mascho-Piro.
In September, FENAMAD representative Cesar Augusto Jojajé decried the negligence of the Peruvian authorities to deal with this precarious situation to ICTMN: “The government is absent in this region. We want the authorities to assume their responsibilities and implement the operational plan [of the Amarakaeri Communal Reserve] which establishes among its clauses the integrity of the Mashco-Piro people’s territory.”
Following the news of Monte Salvado’s evacuation today, Survival and FENAMAD is again calling on the Peruvian authorities to halt outsiders from entering the Mashco-Piro area; to implement an emergency health program to prevent the outbreak of a fatal epidemic; and to increase the tribe’s protected territory due to urgency.
Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said today, “Uncontacted tribes are the most vulnerable societies on the planet. If the survival of the Mashco-Piro is to be guaranteed, Peru has to take action quickly, otherwise they risk being wiped out by diseases like flu and measles to which they have no resistance. The Mashco-Piro, like all uncontacted tribes, face catastrophe unless their land is protected.”
Up to 200 uncontacted Mashco-Piro Indians have entered a local indigenous village.