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. 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. They are doing the right thing

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

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