The body of the last member of Brazil’s indigenous community has been discovered
A Brazilian indigenous guy only known as “the man of the hole” was found dead, decades after the rest of his uncontacted tribe were murdered off by ranchers and illegal miners, according to the officials.
The man, whose real name was never known to the outside world, was discovered in a hammock in a hut in the Tanaru indigenous territory in Rondonia state in Brazil on August 23, according to a statement released by Brazil’s National Indian Foundation (FUNAI). The man had lived in complete isolation for the previous 26 years. His real name was never known to the outside world.
The man had cut off all communication with the outside world ever since he’d lost everyone he knew, and instead relied on hunting and farming to provide for himself. His tendency of digging deep holes inside the huts he erected gave rise to his nick moniker, “Hole-Digger,” which he used potentially to catch animals but also to conceal himself.
According to Survival International, he resided in one of the most perilous regions of the Brazilian Amazon jungle, which was an indigenous territory. His home was flanked on all sides by enormous cattle ranches, and he was under constant threat from illegal miners and loggers.
The authorities did not make any statements regarding the man’s cause of death or his age, which was unknown, but they did say that “there were no signs of violence or struggle.”
They also found no evidence that anyone else had been there in his residence or in the surrounding area of it.
FUNAI, a government organization within the justice ministry that is entrusted with handling indigenous affairs, stated that “everything indicates that the death was from natural causes,” indicating that natural causes were the likely cause of death.
It was reported by the local media that the man’s body had been covered in feathers from a macaw. This led an expert to suggest that the man had been aware that he was about to pass away.
Illegal loggers and miners who wanted to exploit the tribal region were said to have killed the remaining members of the man’s small tribe in the middle of the 1990s. It was believed that the man had been living alone ever since.
The majority of the tribe, according to rights groups, was wiped out in the 1970s when ranchers moved into the area and began chopping down trees and attacking the locals while they were still living in the area.
“With his death, the genocide of this indigenous people is complete,” stated Fiona Watson, director of investigation for Survival, who visited the Tanaru territory in 2004. Watson was speaking about the situation at the time.
“It really was genocide: the planned extermination of an entire people by ranchers eager for land and profit,” she added. “It was the deliberate elimination of an entire people by ranchers.”
In Brazil, a country with a total population of 212 million, there are around 800,000 indigenous people who belong to more than 300 different tribes, as indicated by the most recent data provided by the government.
More than half of them make their home in the Amazon region, and the future of many of those people is in jeopardy due to the unlawful exploitation of natural resources, which are essential to their way of life.
Although the number of indigenous tribes that are considered to be isolated in Brazil vary, FUNAI reports that there are currently 114 such groups.
The far-right President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, was responsible for a record level of deforestation in the Amazon region during the first half of 2022.
The president, who is currently trailing in the polls in advance of the elections that will take place this year, has supported mining and farming operations in protected regions, which has angered environmentalists.