Mascho Piro tribe: Peruvian government to make first contact with indigenous rainforest tribe

The government has previously banned all contact with the Peruvian tribe

Siobhan Fenton
Wednesday 22 July 2015 12:05
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Anthropologists are preparing to make contact for the first time with an Amazonian tribe which lives in isolation in the rainforest.

Mashco Piro Indians are a community of around 600 nomadic people who continually move through the forest. Little is known about the group. The Peruvian government prohibits contact with the Mashco Piro Indians and a dozen other “uncontacted” tribes.

The government says that ban on contact protects the indigenous groups whose immune systems are unable to protect against common diseases.

However, English language Peruvian news outlet Peru This Week says that the government has now been forced to review their policy and has now given Anthropologists permission to engage with the group. This is due to the fact that in recent times, tribes people from Mascho Piro have been frequently spotted emerging from their community and seem to be trying to contact the wider world.

Luis Felipe Torres, head of state isolated tribes teams, told Reuters that the government will not force the tribe into having unwanted contact or to try and change their nomadic lifestyle.

He said: “But we can no longer pretend they aren’t trying to make some sort of contact. They have a right to that, too.”

The anthropologists will now approach a Mashco Piro clan and try to talk to them to understand why they have been emerging from the forest.

According to English language Peruvian news outlet Peru This Week, tensions have been growing between the tribe and the neighbouring community as some of their recent interactions have turned violent.

In May, a young man was killed with an arrow after being attacked by a group of Mascho Piro. In December, two neighbouring villages were forced to evacuate their homes after they were invaded by the tribe.

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