Uncontacted tribes go 'round the world'

More and more people around the world are becoming aware of the problems faced by Peru's uncontacted tribes.
More and more people around the world are becoming aware of the problems faced by Peru's uncontacted tribes.
© Heinz Plenge Pardo / Frankfurt Zoological Society

The threats of extinction to uncontacted tribes in the Peruvian Amazon have turned the tribes’ plight into one of global concern, with members of the public all around the world increasingly aware of the desperate situation facing them.

More than 150 articles and interviews about Peru’s uncontacted tribes have been published or broadcast in more than 20 countries, from as far afield as the US, UK and Spain, Australia and New Zealand, to Brazil, Japan, India and China.

The tribes’ plight has been covered by some of the world’s most well-known daily newspapers, news agencies and radio stations. It has also been covered in many other kinds of publications: from Sunday newspapers to local newspapers, in-flight magazines, specialist indigenous newspapers, and women’s magazines.

The tribes face extinction because of the oil exploration and illegal logging taking place on their land. The oil exploration is being actively permitted and promoted by the Peruvian government, while many of the loggers are after mahogany.

Uncontacted tribes are exceedingly vulnerable to any form of contact because they don’t have immunity to outsiders’ diseases. After contact, it is common for at least 50% of a tribe to die.

Survival International’s Director, Stephen Corry, said today, ‘They may be isolated, but that doesn’t mean that what is happening to Peru’s uncontacted tribes is hidden. More and more people are becoming aware of the tragic situation currently facing them and the determination of oil companies and loggers to trample over their rights and rob them of their lands. If public opinion really is a ‘superpower’ in its own right, as has been said, Peru’s government is starting to feel its might.’