A Brazilian government official was killed by an arrow that struck him in the heart while he was approaching an indigenous Amazon tribe he was seeking to protect, witness and police told the media on Wednesday.
The incident took place in a remote area when the top Brazilian government official, who also happened to be an isolated Amazon tribe expert, was advancing an ‘uncontacted’ group in the region.
The 56-years-old man, identified Reiki Franciscato was reportedly on his way to the ‘uncontacted’ indigenous group when the arrow hit him in his heart at a forest in the western Brazilian state of Rondonia.
Franciscato reportedly spent his career as an official in the Brazilian government’s indigenous affairs agency Funai, which functions to protect Brazil’s tribes.
According to a policeman who witnessed the heartbreaking incident, Reiki cried out when the arrow hit him, he pulled the jab out, ‘ran 50 meters and collapsed, lifeless,’ he said in an audio recording posted on social media.
The NGO Kanindé, that Franciscato helped establish in 1980 said, uncontacted indigenous amazon tribes, don’t have the ability to discern friend and foe from the outside world.
Hundreds of tribals live a totally isolated life in the dark depths of the Amazon rainforest, some even never encountering the dawn of civilization.
“We are feeling bewildered by so many deaths in this Brazil that no longer respects indigenous rights,” Mr. Franciscato’s friend and co-founder of the Kaninde association Ivaneide Cardozo was quoted by media.
Brazil’s protected indigenous tribes, over 400 of them, are like a relic of the bygone era that is a bridge between the rusted past and the dazzling present.
Of the hundreds of tribes that inhabit the world’s largest rainforest, many have in the past 500 years have never come in contact with humans.
Other ‘uncontacted tribes ‘ have never ever seen or known humans outside their people, according to Survival International.
In recent years, these exquisite Amazonian tribs have come under the fire of aggressive expansionist policies undertaken by the far-right Brazilian president Jair Bolsanaro, while the unavoidable bane of climate change and pandemics poses the other blow.
The recent COVID-19 pandemic also threatens their very existence, since these isolated groups lay prone to the virus from illegal poachers who regularly haunt the pristine forests for resources.
These tribes don’t have the efficiency, nor the resources to battle the OCVID-19 outbreak, which if uncontrolled and rampant in their populations could wipe off the entire population, experts fear.
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