A group of hooligans are being hunted by police after they were filmed illegally flying a helicopter over an isolated tribe, hurling insults at the terrified indigenous people below.
The incident took place over the Moxihatetea group's settlement in Yanomami territory, Roraima, Brazil on Friday, November 10. Footage of the yobs has since begun circulating online, where they were heard hurling homophobic and racial abuse.
In the video the group were seen mocking the indigenous people, who were reportedly firing arrows at the low-flying helicopter. One of the culprits reportedly called the group a "bunch of f*gots" and "cannibals."
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The video was posted online with the title: "Cannibal Indians in Roraima," but was later removed after causing outrage. It is currently unknown if the culprits have been caught or if authorities are investigating.
Brazilian law protects uncontacted indigenous people, as contacting them could lead to the transmission of deadly pathogens. There are reportedly at least 114 isolated groups in Brazil, most of which are in the Amazon.
In recent years, many have faced the threat of highly invasive mining activities in the Amazon. It is believed there are more than 20,000 illegal gold miners, known locally as garimpeiros, invading indigenous areas despite the territories being 'nationally protected'.
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Last year, Joenia Wapichana, the only indigenous woman elected to the Brazilian Congress, said the devastation caused miners is posing a threat to the existence of indigenous life.
She warned: "The number of invaders has increased, both loggers and miners, who are at the service of people who have strong economic power, and organised crime is beginning to enter the territory. The environmental and health issue is getting worse and is putting the indigenous people at risk of extinction."
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