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AKIPRESS.COM - Brazilian authorities are investigating reports of a massacre of up to 10 people from an isolated tribe in the Amazon by illegal gold miners.
The killings, alleged to have taken place in Javari Valley, are claimed to have been carried out by men working for gold prospectors who dredge illegally in the region’s rivers, The Guardian reported.
If proven, the murders would confirm that severe budget cuts to Brazil’s indigenous agency are having deadly effects. The agency was forced to close two bases in the same region earlier this year. Investigators face a 12-day boat trip just to reach the area.
Brazil’s National Indian Foundation, known as Funai, first sent a team of three to the small town of São Paulo de Olivença after receiving reports that men working for gold prospectors had boasted in a bar of killing a group of eight to 10 indigenous people.
Funai has had its budget almost halved this year by the business-friendly government of President Michel Temer. His government recently proposed to reduce the protected area of Amazon forest and has announced plans to allow mining and development in other protected areas.