Updated 07:13 AM EST, Mon, Jan 25, 2021

Brazil's Amazonian Tribe Kawahiva Confronted with Genocide

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Once more, some facing the threat of extinction. This time, they are fellow human beings.

The Ecologist reported that an uncontacted tribe called the Kawahiva Indians who lived in the Amazonian rainforest is facing death and extinction due to Brazil's encroachment of logging and deals with foreign companies in the lands.

The Kawahiva people are among the last tribes in the Amazon. Unless Brazil acts on their legal right to land, security, and communication with outsiders, they will die out. As The Ecologist noted, the Kawahiva tribe needs to be isolated -- the smallest contact with outsiders could prove deadly for their society, as a handshake or a hug or even a brush of clothing could transmit infectious diseases that they are not equipped to handle.

Unlike the rest of the world, their immune systems have yet to see Afro-Eurasian diseases like the flu and the common cold. These kinds of illnesses may be just another cough in a modern human's day, but to them this could be deadly, thus emphasizing that their involvement with the outside world could threaten to wipe out their society forever.

Brazil's Kawahiva people have no contact with the modern world, but they have a completely sustainable lifestyle by hunting small game and gathering fruits, nuts, and berries. However, with nobody to speak on their behalf, they are facing very real possibilities of genocide.

The countries surrounding the Amazon rainforest have been quite lax in their treatment of the protected area. For instance, Ecuador only recently made a deal with China, giving them rights for oil exploration in one part of the rainforest, despite the fact that two indigenous tribes live in the area. The Kawahiva could be the next ones to disappear.

As Survival International noted, the Kawahiva are among the most vulnerable tribes on earth, and with their forest being invaded by modern humans like armed loggers, miners, and ranchers, they are forced to live their lives constantly on the run, many of them already killed in genocidal attacks.

Asking them to adapt to the modern society is not a valid argument either, as it is an attempt to foricbly impose one's way of life upon those who do not wish to live their life in that way. Demonstrating their unwillingness to be contacted, the Kawahiva should be respected and their lands must be protected.

Actor Mark Rylance, in his attempt to help fight for the rights of the uncontacted tribe, said in October, "If the Kawahiva's land is not protected, they will disappear forever. But if Brazil's government acts fast, they can survive."

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