These are the Waiapi, an ancient tribe living in Brazil's Amazon rainforest but now fearing invasion by international mining companies.

Leading AFP reporters to a tiny settlement of palm-thatched huts hidden in foliage, the tribesmen streaked in red and black dye vow to defend their territory. They brandish six-foot (two-meter) bows and arrows to reinforce the point.

"We'll keep fighting," says Tapayona Waiapi, 36, in the settlement called Pinoty. "When the companies come we'll keep resisting. If the Brazilian government sends soldiers to kill people, we'll keep resisting until the last of us is dead."

The Waiapi indigenous reserve is in pristine rainforest near the eastern end of the Amazon river. It is part of a much larger conservation zone called Renca, covering an area the size of Switzerland.

Surrounded by rivers and towering trees, the tribe operates almost entirely according to its own laws, with a way of life at times closer to the Stone Age than the 21st century.

Yet modern Brazil is barely a few hours' drive away.

And now the center-right government is pushing to open Renca to international mining companies who covet the rich deposits of gold and other metals hidden under the sea of green.

In August, President Michel Temer abruptly ended mining restrictions in swaths of Renca, sparking an outcry from environmentalists and celebrity campaigners like Leonardo DiCaprio.

Temer backtracked in September. However, the Waiapi, who were nearly wiped out by disease after being discovered by outsiders in the 1970s, remain terrified.

The rainforest, says 35-year-old Moi Waiapi, another inhabitant of Pinoty, "is the foundation for our survival."

Responses to "Amazon Tribe prepares to defend itself against invading mining companies. "

  1. Anonymous says:


  2. Unknown says:

    I see private mining going on in the Loreto area of the Peruvian Amazon the last 2 years..The Yagua were not happy about that

  3. Omnaka says:

    May the Greatest Spirit Protect you and your lands and way of life! Bless all of you.

  4. Unknown says:

    Yes defend your land 🐢and your lifestyle with honour✌I'am supporter 🐝

  5. Anonymous says:

    These people need real weapons. The system understands nothing, sees nothing and cares for nothing, but the people who work for it can be killed.

  6. Gerhard says:

    They are doing the right thing

  7. Oh billy. says:

    I would fight to the death as well. I think your doing the right thing .Keep fighting the good fight!!!

  8. JC Donlan says:

    What can we do to help? I would gladly come be part of a barrier between the colonization & destruction and the people of this tribe if I could... But what else can we do here Stateside to help? Contact our own corrupt politicians to intervene?

  9. ZawMin says:

    It is an indictment on our ethics and values when our investors will countenance the extinction of some of the oldest cultures inhabiting pristine rainforests that hold the biodiversity keys to the survival of humankind.

  10. me says:

    Pour une société qui se respecte, je pense qu'il est de son devoir de préserver son environnement, sa faune, sa flore dans la meilleure intégrité qui soit en considérant que l'homme doit se garder une marge tampon qu'il ne devrait jamais franchir, d'autant plus si une partie de la forêt compte des tribus indigènes, c'est un sacrilège d'outre-passer certaines limites, un manque d'éthique immense de ne pas en tenir compte, les autochtones n'ont rien demandé à cette société dite civilisée, ils ne doivent rien à cette société, ils font partie de l'environnement unis avec lui, détruire cet héritage serait un crime contre l'humanité.

  11. Unknown says:

    Is there a way we can fight by your side?
    Let me.know

  12. Unknown says:

    Greed will always destroy. Greedy people seldom ever care about who they have to step on or destroy in order to gain what they want; Even if it will eventually destroy themselves as well.

  13. Unknown says:

    What can we do to support you? I'm in the U.K. and I feel helpless to be of any use in this struggle. #solidarity #love #weareallone

  14. Gregor says:

    May the rainforest survive the hunger for more more more...
    People who swear by capitalism will at the end die like every one of us: empty handed.

  15. Nicole says:

    There are many who would fight by your side! May the indigenous people prevail!!!!

  16. Anonymous says:

  17. Prayers are being said . Enough is enough. Mother Earth needs us now more than ever

  18. Unknown says:

    These people should be armed with the latest modern weapons and given military trainig. Let's if the Brazilian military ius capable of defeating indigenous peoples in a protracted guerrila war.

  19. Unknown says:

    Shame on people who rape mother earth! I'll stay with you in my prayers! Greetings from Norway, Norway is no more paradise like people mostly expect! PEACE AND LOVE!!!

  20. Eric says:

    I feel so much despair and sadness. I want these brother and sisters in the Amazon to know all good people the world over are united together in what is right and correct.....We are one human heart beating together......

  21. These actions are being driven by the invading rich that can't get enough of greed. Defend it at all costs as barbaric leaders of the rich will want to conquer you to make themselves richer. They do not care about human life, they only care about riches.

  22. Unknown says:

    Corporate greed is destroying the earth.....this needs the worlds attention....

  23. Bjoern-Einar Nilsen says:

    Eu não sou indígena no meu sangue, mas sou no meu coração e na minha alma. Espero que a justiça vou vença, para que você posso continuar vivendo na Amazônia. Para a terra sobreviver, nos precisamos todos vocês que vivem na Amazônia, porque vocês são nossos professores e professoras em como cuidar da nossa mãe terra.
    <3 Amazônia em meu coração <3

  24. markcfc1 says:


  25. Is there any way to make contact with the tribe? I get that they are secluded in the forest but have they got any means of contact with the outside world?

  26. douglas says:

    Same all over white man don't care they care about money.

  27. Unknown says:

    Everyone please help these natives by protesting against the international company that would be destroying their homelands forever. These rain forests are important for the survival of the entire world and this would be 1 more step towards the end of life as we know it .

  28. The spirit of this article iIaplaude but you could make an effort to be better informed about Brazilian politics.

  29. They have all the right to defend themselves from plunderers and the greedy corporate thugs. They are nothing but thieves in suits.

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