Amazonian Tribe Makes Contact With Outsiders for First Time

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
July 9 2014 2:34 PM

Amazonian Tribe Makes Contact With Outsiders for First Time

452305819-amazon-rainforest-trees-stand-as-seen-from-a-transport
Amazon rainforest trees stand as seen from a transport riverboat.

Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

Per Brazilian officials, a previously isolated Amazonian tribe has made its first contact with the outside world, interacting on June 29 with a government team that included medical personnel and an anthropologist specializing in indigenous groups. The unidentified tribe may have crossed from Peru to Brazil to flee loggers and/or drug traffickers, and its presence was apparently communicated to the Brazilian government by Ashaninka Indians who had seen signs that another group was nearby.

Officials and advocates are concerned about the isolated tribe's vulnerability to disease, as they stand risk of being exposed to contagions they haven't developed immunity to.

Irene Chidinma Nwoye is a writer and former Slate intern in New York City. Follow her on Twitter.

  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Nov. 21 2014 1:38 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? See if you can keep pace with the copy desk, Slate’s most comprehensive reading team.