Isolated Mashco-Piro tribe reaches out in Peru’s Amazon
Members of an isolated indigenous group made contact over the weekend with villagers in Peru’s Amazon basin seeking food and supplies, a Lima newspaper reported Monday.
A video taken by the villagers captured the encounter with the Mashco-Piro people on the banks of the Madre de Dios river.
“The agents succeeded in communicating in yine (an indigenous language), maintaining a dialogue for more than 20 minutes,” Cesar Jojaje, the leader of a federation of indigenous people in the Rio de Madre region, told the newspaper El Comercio.
He said they asked for yuca, plantains, machetes and ropes, before retreating peacefully along the riverbank.
The video showed the villagers and the Indians engaged in conversation and the handover of food.
It was the second time since July 23 that the Mashco-Piro have emerged from isolation in the jungle to make contact with villagers on the outside, raising fear the community is under increasing stress from deforestation due to logging.
A sighting in May of Mashco-Piro ended badly with a villager in the community of Shipetiari shot dead with an arrow.
Jojaje said his federation opposed “controlled contact” with the group, as proposed recently by Peru’s culture ministry, for fear they will be threatened by that type of an overture.
The government, meanwhile, has expressed concern that the group may be suffering from Western-evolved diseases that require treatment.