Dallas, Texas (WiredPRNews.com) — At the beginning of June, news stories nationwide exploded with pictures of a supposed indigenous Amazon tribe that had been photographed from the air. Claims of this native tribe and their lack of communication from the modern world astounded the public with stunning pictures of painted Indians wielding handmade weapons in a position of attack.
In a recent report by The Guardian out of the UK, the so-called ‘secret’ of the Amazon tribe turned out to not be a secret at all. Originally touted as an undiscovered tribe, it has been revealed that the story was a hoax aimed at calling attention that the “tribe’s existence has been noted since 1910 and the mission to photograph them was undertaken in order to prove that ‘uncontacted’ tribes still existed in an area endangered by the menace of the logging industry.”
Carlos Meirelles, one of a group of experts on indigenous tribes on behalf of the Brazilian Indian Protection Agency, Funai, gave his first interview since the truth broke about the tribe’s existence detailing how the tribe carried out day to day life and his plan to use the tribe as a platform to speak out on the protection of tribes in danger of losing their native habitat to logging.
Meirelles confessed that the Amazonian tribe was initially discovered nearly a century ago and that the remarkable aerial photos shown by the press was nowhere near a coincidence. In an interview to al-Jazeera, Meirelles described the steps that he and his team takes to locate a tribe and begin monitoring their protection.
After locating the tribe using a high-tech GPS system, Meirelles used the coordinates he was provided and set out to explore the region. The report from The Guardian noted, “What he was looking for was not only proof of life, but firm evidence that the tribes in this area were flourishing – proof in his view that the policy of no contact and protection was working. [sic]
‘When I saw them painted red, I was satisfied, I was happy,’ he said. ‘Because painted red means they are ready for war, which to me says they are happy and healthy defending their territory.'”
Meirelles now states that his real drive to locate an ‘undiscovered’ tribe was to shed light on the logging industry that threatens indigenous tribes and to force Peru to reexamine their logging policies. He makes sure to note that he has no regrets.