By Jane Nambi
Members of a scarce Indian tribe have re-appeared in a bid to make contact with the outside world.
The tribe has for a long time lived in voluntary isolation in Peru’s southeastern Amazon. This is the second time that the members of the tribe have tried to make contact with outsiders, the first was in 2011. it is not clear what caused the standoff but authorities say the Mashco-Piro may be upset by illegal logging in their territory as well as drug smugglers who pass through.
More than 100 members of the clan appeared across the Las Piedras river from the remote community of Monte Salvado in the Tambopata region of Madre de Dios state from June 24-26 according to Klaus Quicque, president of the regional FENAMAD indigenous federation. They asked for bananas, rope and machetes from the local Yine people but were dissuaded from crossing the river by FENAMAD rangers at the settlement.
“You can see in the images there was a lot of threatening — the intention of crossing. They practically reached mid-river,” Quicque said in reference to the video which chronicled the standoff. The video shows the members armed with lances, bows and arrows. He said 23 Mashco-Piro appeared on the first day, 110 on the second and 25 on the third. The clan left and hasn’t returned.
The tribe lives by their own social code, which includes kidnapping other tribes’ women and children, according to Carlos Soria, a Lima professor and former head of Peru’s park protection agency.