‘In the city, we feel the same insecurity that outsiders do in the forest,’ says an Awá man named Blade. But the dense Amazon forests that used to clothe vast areas of northeast Brazil have all but disappeared. Not to be replaced by cities, but by a wasteland of seemingly endless cattle ranches. The last stand of these once great forests, some of the most ancient in all the world, are where tribal peoples have resisted the ranchers’ and loggers’ advances.This is the story of one tribe, the Awá hunter-gatherers, and their extraordinary love affair with the forest. A story of resistance, destruction, of hope, and, perhaps, survival. Uncontacted Awá Indians are on the run from illegal loggers who have invaded their lands. Brazil’s Minister of Justice has the power to send in the police to catch the loggers and keep them out for good, and Survival supporters have already sent him more than 17,000 emails asking him to make the Awá his priority. It looks like it’s working, but we need your help to reach the 20,000 messages milestone.
‘If we can’t respect the right of the last tribes living in isolation on the planet to decide their own fate, then how are we different from the conquistadors of 500 years ago, whom we so roundly condemn for their violence and greed?’ (Mitch Anderson)
Many Awá are still uncontacted, and they are running for their lives. ‘One man has the power to stop the loggers: Brazil’s Minister of Justice. But it’s just not his priority. Let’s push it up his list.’ (Colin Firth).
A campaign launched by Colin Firth to save the world’s most threatened tribe has generated more than 10,000 protest emails to the Brazilian government in just three days – a record for protest action for tribal peoples anywhere in the world. The Survival International campaign aims to save the Awá tribe, whose lands are being illegally invaded and destroyed. In a video appeal, Colin Firth asks viewers to send a protest message to Brazil’s Justice Minister, who has the power to send in federal police to evict the loggers, ranchers and settlers who are ravaging the tribe’s land.
In his appeal Colin Firth says, ‘The Awá’s forest is being illegally cut for timber. When the loggers see them, they kill them. Their bows and arrows are no match for guns. And at any other time in history, that’s where it would end. Another people wiped off the face of the earth, forever. But we’re going to make sure the world doesn’t let that happen…’ Brazil’s Justice Minister José Eduardo Cardozo has yet to respond to the barrage of messages, but told a Brazilian journalist, ‘Unfortunately we have a lot of violence in relation to indigenous peoples, and the scale is such that it is impossible, for any government, to prevent situations as they unfold.’ Stephen Corry, Survival International’s Director, said today, ‘If Brazil allows more of its original people to be sacrificed for some truckloads of timber it will be an enduring stain on the history of a great nation, an irredeemable tragedy for humanity, and of course a catastrophe for the Awá. Brazil is one of the richest countries in the world, but does it have the strength to uphold its own laws?’
Do more than click! We’re not going to stop here. We need to get international organizations and the UN to take up the case, and get it into the media so it becomes impossible to ignore. Please help fund this urgent work. No flashy offices, no expensive agencies, just a 40-year track record of winning ‘unwinnable’ campaigns. Please take action for Earth’s most threatened tribe. Just spend 10 seconds sending an E-Mail now at the link below the movie.