Operation Awá: most invaders removed from tribal land 1 April 2014

"Hundreds of soldiers, police and government agents form the operation's ground squad. "
"Hundreds of soldiers, police and government agents form the operation's ground squad. "
© Mário Vilela/FUNAI

Over 60% of the illegal invaders on the land of the Awá tribe have now been evicted in a breakthrough operation in the Brazilian Amazon.

Operation Awá was launched in January 2014 to save earth’s most threatened tribe, after Survival’s 2-year global campaign forced the Brazilian government to act.

Hundreds of soldiers, police and government agents form the operation’s ground squad.

Government reports reveal that hundreds of loggers and illegal cattle ranchers have been removed from the indigenous territory in recent weeks. They had been given forty days to leave, or face forced removal.

The Awá, one of the last nomadic hunter-gatherer peoples in the Amazon, depend on their forest for their survival, but it was being destroyed at an alarming pace and 34% of their central territory has been deforested.

"The Awá depend on their forest for their survival."
"The Awá depend on their forest for their survival."
© Survival International

The Awá face genocide and extinction according to Brazilian experts, as they have been unable to hunt and sustain themselves, with waves of loggers ‘closing in’ on their communities.

The construction of a third operation basecamp is now complete and the work is set to continue, to ensure all invaders are removed and a permanent land-protection plan is implemented. 

Brazilian officials have told Survival that this operation would not be happening without Survival’s campaign and the international public pressure.

Internationally-renowned Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado recently visited the Awá to document their plight. See his images here.

 

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