Expedition in Amazon reunites isolated Korubo tribe with relatives

An expedition in the Amazon has reunited an isolated group with relatives and eased tensions with a rival tribe near the border with Peru.

The FUNAI agency said that a team of almost two dozen reached 34 members of the Korubo tribe in the Brazilian state of Amazonas.

Relatives of the Korubos joined the expedition and aimed to avoid a possible conflict with the Matis tribe living about 12 miles (19km) away.

The Matis tribe repeatedly requested FUNAI’s intervention because they believed the isolated Korubos wanted revenge and mistakenly believed their relatives had been killed by the Matis.

The FUNAI analysts’ main concern was that the isolated group would not believe that the Korubos on the expedition were in fact their relatives.

FUNAI co-ordinator Bruno Pereira said: “It was actually quite moving.

“We soon found one of the two Korubos we saw first was a brother of one of the members of the expedition.

“There was a lot of emotion and tears.”

The trip lasted 32 days in the Javari Valley, an area of approximately 31,000 square miles.

Brazilian law says that contact with isolated tribes can be used only as a last resort to preserve the lives of indigenous peoples.

The expedition was FUNAI’s biggest since 1996 and also the agency’s first major operation during the administration of far-right president Jair Bolsonaro.

Brazil’s new leader has been a fierce critic of bodies that handle indigenous issues.

He has also vowed to stop demarcation of indigenous lands and allow miners and farmers to operate in their lands.

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