LONDON – Illegal logging in Brazilian Amazonia could result in the destruction of the world’s most-endangered indigenous people, the Awa, the organization Survival International said Wednesday.
Within the framework of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Survival said that despite the attempts by the United Nations to end racism, there are more and more calls to resolve “a real situation of genocide” in Brazil’s Amazon region.
The Awa are a small tribe of some 355 members living in eastern Amazonia and depending mainly on the jungle for their livelihood. Over the years they have survived a number of brutal massacres.
According to experts, the tribe has become one of the last indigenous groups of nomadic hunter-gatherers remaining on the planet and they will face extinction unless efforts are increased to protect their territorial rights, which are being violated by illegal loggers and ranchers.
In its statement, Survival recalled that despite the fact that the United Nations wants the “dignity and rights” of all human beings to be respected, many indigenous communities continue to be the victims of ethnic hatred.
The group cited Bruno Fragoso, of Brazil’s National Indian Foundation, who said, the Awa “are facing increasing invasions and if rapid emergency measures are not taken, the future of this people is extinction.”
“The Awa are the world’s most threatened tribe. If their rights are not protected, they’ll only exist in the pages of history books. The U.N.’s call to wipe out racial discrimination is one step towards changing attitudes, and helping to keep the Awa’s forest home intact,” Survival director Stephen Corry said. EFE