With Bows And Spears, Indigenous ‘warriors’ Defend The Amazon

Indigenous “warriors,” consisting of young men from the Amazon village of Sao Luis, patrol the Javari River while defending their territory using bows and spears.

Members of the “Warriors of the Forest,” a vigilante group from the Kanamari ethnic group, patrol along the Javari river in the northwest Amazonas state of Brazil (Siegfried)

In a remote pocket of the Brazilian Amazon under siege from illegal fishermen, poachers, loggers and drug traffickers, Indigenous people have taken it upon themselves to defend the land and its resources.

With bows, arrows and spears, young men of the Sao Luis village patrol the Javari River by motorboat in the valley of the same name.

They call themselves the “Warriors of the Forest,” the self-styled heirs of Indigenous rights defender Bruno Pereira, who was murdered in the Javari Valley one year ago along with British journalist Dom Phillips.

“We must always be prepared for the worst. But we do not want violence,” said Lucinho Kanamari, his face painted red, insisting the traditional weapons are merely a “precaution.”

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“When we spot intruders, one of us will talk to them. The others stay back, ready to react if things go wrong,” he told AFP.

“We are there to teach, to act as a peaceful deterrent. We talk, we explain.”

Lucinho is a member of the Kanamari Indigenous group, one of six in the Javari Valley which holds Brazil’s second largest protected Indigenous reservation.

Like many others who live here, he takes his surname from his tribe which lives in a part of the rainforest the size of Portugal that contains many of the world’s last uncontacted Indigenous groups.

UK Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer said that the BBC, headed by Director General Tim Davie, is biased “on occasion.”

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