Authorities: Gold miners at a bar bragged about slaughtering members of a reclusive Brazilian tribe
THE WASHINGTON POST – CLEVE R. WOOTSON JR.
The outside world might never have heard about the suspected massacre if not for some barroom boasting by a group of miners fresh from working an illegal gig in the Amazon jungle.
The garimpeiros had bragged that they’d come across members of a reclusive, uncontacted Amazonian tribe near Brazil’s border with Peru and Colombia, authorities say.
The tribe members were greater in number — there were as many as 10 — but the gold miners said they’d gotten the better of them and killed the entire lot, said Carla de Lello Lorenzi, communications officer for Survival International in Brazil, relaying information from reports the group had received.
The miners cut the tribe members’ bodies so that they wouldn’t float, Lorenzi said, then dropped them into the Jandiatuba River.
The miners had collected tools and jewelry from the indigenous dead, corroborating their story.
An unidentified person who overheard the story was disturbed by it, recorded the miners’ conversation and turned the audio over to authorities. They have since launched an investigation into what, if confirmed, would be one of the largest mass murders of uncontacted people in decades.