Survival International Withdraws Yanomami Massacre Claim

Picture: Fabio Rodgrigues Pozzebom (CC)

Via BBC News:

Humanitarian organization Survival International made headlines last week when it announced that a village of the Yanomami, an indigenous people living in a remote region of Venezuela, had been massacred by gold miners. Now, it seems, Survival International is in the unenviable position of having to withdraw the story after Venezuelan authorities found the Yanomami alive and well. Read and cringe:

Venezuelan officials said a team sent to the area had found no bodies and no evidence of an attack.

The attack was alleged to have happened in the remote Irotatheri community, close to the border with Brazil.

Survival carried reports from Yanomami organisations which described how illegal gold miners had set fire to a communal house, and how witnesses said they had found burnt bodies.

There were said to be three survivors.

On Monday, Survival International said this account did not appear to be correct…

While Survival International states that the report was incorrect, other advocacy groups have claimed that the Venezuelan government simply may have found the wrong village. Survival International’s mistake is a regrettable one, but hopefully it won’t distract terribly much from the organization’s goal of advocating for the rights of indigenous peoples.

Continue reading here.

, , ,

  • Pro-Crowley

    Many of the Yanomami communities have had to deal with this sort of thing actually happening on a regular basis, I’m happy it wasn’t the case this time.

  • TennesseeCyberian

    I’m just really glad we could all learn something from this.

    I’m glad the Yanomami are safe, and I hope the Yanodaddy are doing well, too.

    • Ted Heistman

       Yeah, and send some more money to Survival International because the Yanomami could really use it.

      Oh wait…they don’t use money…what do those people do again?

    • Matt Staggs

      You made me chuckle out loud, you monster!

  • Ted Heistman

    OK, so, thought experiment. What if there wasn’t all this white guilt about destroying the Indians way of life in North America. What would have been the solution? Put a big fence around the whole Western Hemisphere? Everyone else would have cars and airplanes and clothing and cell phones and the internet, and then there would be this big fence and on the other side everyone  would be naked and squatting around a camp fire? Everyone on one side of the fence would have google Earth and the people on the other side would have an oral tradition about being on the back of a turtle? Because they have no alphabet or mathematics?

    There would be no trade or cultural exchange, because we would only corrupt their morals and riddle their bodies with diseases.

    So they wouldn’t know anything about us, but we would have powerful cameras and directional microphones so that we could have movies and t.v. shows about them, just like shows we have now about the Serengeti, and we could admire their grace and simplicity, or maybe some of us would laugh at them, the less enlightened among us.

    Would that have worked? Is that the goal for these people? Is that going to work?

    • MindAtPlay

       Well thats not the only alternative in such a thought experiment now is it, there is also the alternative of letting them choose for themselves what they want to trade or integrate into their culture, the northindians lifestyle was destroyed through violence not through contact.

      • TedHeistman

        Read up on the Situation if Brazil.

        • Matt Staggs

          The Situation is in Brazil? ;-)

      • Pro-Crowley

        Letting them choose for themselves?!? What’s with all these wild ideas you CRAZY MAN!

        I guess what you just said actually never occurs to the average bonehead out there. (their stuck in a dominator reality tunnel) To think these people’s lives are more primitive and simplistic is also woefully uninformed, but that’s what the average bonehead also thinks.

        That’s the thing about thought experiments, if you dont use them much its less of an experiment and more of a brain fart.

  • Ted Heistman

    I just want to say I admire these people: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sentinelese_people

    And they have kind of a unique set up. They live on an island, which in a sense all indigenous “uncontactedish” people do. My question is how long can isolation last and is it a good thing? Are we looking down on them by  basically setting up tiger reserves for them and looking at them as wild animals?  Or would it be better to help them transition some how? I mean the Sentineli can continue to be left alone but the similar Jarawa tribe on the Big Andaman island are fucked basically and their life will soon be destroyed because settlers from India are there and spreading.

    I have for a long time been fascinated by indigenous hunter gatherers and admired their way of life and wondered if its not a better way of life. I try to be a hunter gather myself in some ways and spend a lot of time gardening and out in the woods. But I wonder what is really best for these people.

  • rus Archer

    and we believe THIS because?