Earth’s 'most threatened tribe' demands action as logging season starts

By agency reporter
11 Jun 2012

Earth’s ‘most threatened tribe’ has made a desperate appeal for the Brazilian government to halt the illegal logging that is ravaging its territory, as the Amazon’s logging season starts in earnest.

The Awá tribe already suffers the fastest rate of deforestation in the Amazon and the start of the dry season has in previous years brought a huge upsurge in illegal loggers.

The Awá’s urgent message pleads with Brazil’s Minister of Justice to "evict loggers from our land immediately… before they come back and destroy everything."

Survival’s campaign to save the Awá tribe has already generated over 27,000 messages to Brazil’s Justice Minister, calling for him to remove all invaders.

It has also prompted Maranhão state’s public prosecutor to order an investigation into those responsible for invading Awá land and to demand they are brought to justice.

However, thousands of illegal loggers are still believed to be operating in the area.

Since Colin Firth launched a campaign by Survival International nearly six weeks ago, Brazil’s indigenous rights organization CIMI has shared the film with members of the Awá.

One Awá man reacted by saying, ‘Very good, non-Indians, what you’re doing is really important, and really good! Help us as fast as you can. Send lots of messages [to the Minister].’

Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said, "The Awá may only number around 450 people, but in a short time their cause has become global news. Brazil’s government must stop ignoring the Awá, and put them at the top of its agenda. The start of the logging season is a critical time. Pressure must not cease."

Survival is urging people to support the Awá by messaging Brazil’s Minister of Justice.

[Ekk/4]

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