Brazil takes steps to save threatened tribe from extinction

Brazil’s police and military have begun evicting illegal ranchers and loggers from land belonging to the Awá, one of the world’s most endangered tribes

The decision to evict intruders from the Awá’s rainforest comes more than a decade after Brazil, under international pressure, first officially marked out the tribe’s territory. The push to enforce that ruling follows a high-profile Survival International campaign spearheaded by celebrities including Colin Firth and Vivienne Westwood.

After more than half a century of encroachments on their territory, the Awá have been decimated by diseases and violent attacks, and have seen around 30% of their territory deforested. Only about 450 Awá still survive, with roughly 100 living in complete isolation from the outside world.

“This is a momentous and potentially lifesaving occasion for the Awá,” said Survival International director Stephen Corry. “All eyes are now on Brazil to ensure it completes the operation before the World Cup kicks off.”