Brazilian experts on the Amazonian tribesmen killed by arrows

Rieli Franciscato, 56, a government official and prominent expert on isolated Amazon tribes, is seen in the forest near the Uru U Vau Reservation on April 21, 2019, in Rondônia, Brazil. Picture taken on April 21, 2019. REUTERS / Alberto Veiga

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Anthony Bodley

BRASILIA (Reuters) – A top expert from different Amazon tribes in Brazil was struck by an arrow that struck him in the chest as he approached an indigenous group, friends and a police witness on Thursday.

Riley Franciscato, 56 years old, had spent as an officer at the government’s indigenous affairs agency, Funai, working to establish reservations to protect the Brazilian tribes.

On Wednesday, as he got closer to a non-undivided indigenous group, he was struck by an arrow above the heart in the forest near the Uru U Vau Reservation in the western Brazilian state of Rondonia, near the border of Bolivia.

“He cried, shot an arrow from his chest, ran 50 meters and fell lifeless,” a policeman said in an audio posted on social media.

The help he received in the 1980s The Kindo Ethno-Environmental Defense Association said that the indigenous group did not have the ability to distinguish between a friend or foe of the outside world.

He died at a time when indigenous people in Brazil are increasingly threatened by invasions by illegal land grabbers, loggers and gold miners, influenced by the policies of far-right President Zaire Boulonaro who wants to develop the Amazon and indigenous Want to reduce the size of. reservation.

“We are feeling shocked by the many such deaths in Brazil, which no longer respect Indigenous rights,” said Frankenito’s friend and Kaninde Association co-founder, Evnid Cardozo.

Leading authority on Brazil’s remaining isolated tribes and former head of Fannai, Sidney Posuelo, said Bolsonaro had kept his campaign promise to destroy the agency that protected the rights of indigenous peoples.

Posuelo said the government had maligned Funai and left him in his isolated positions without the necessary staff for security as escalating land invasions increase the risk of violent clashes.

The Brazilian president did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Bolsonaro has repeatedly proposed the need to integrate the indigenous, which he describes as “cave men,” living in a broader Brazilian society.

“Rieli was a quiet, orderly, soft-spoken man who knew the dangers very well, but he was alone and so he went to the police to ask him to accompany him,” Possuelo said. The presence of the police, Possuelo explained, may have intensified the attack.

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