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News Link • Brazil

'We'll keep resisting until the last of us is dead':

• by Harvey Day

An ancient Amazonian tribe has vowed to fight against international mining companies planning to destroy their homes to dig for gold. 

The Waiapi, an ancient tribe living in Brazil's Amazon rainforest, reside in the Waiapi indigenous reserve - a pristine rainforest near the eastern end of the Amazon river. 

It is part of a much larger conservation zone called Renca, covering an area the size of Switzerland.

Surrounded by rivers and towering trees, the tribe operates almost entirely according to its own laws, with a way of life at times closer to the Stone Age than the 21st century. Yet modern Brazil is barely a few hours' drive away.

And now the center-right government is pushing to open Renca to international mining companies who covet the rich deposits of gold and other metals hidden under the sea of green. 

From a tiny settlement of palm-thatched huts hidden in foliage, the tribesmen streaked in red and black dye have vowed to defend their territory. They brandish six-foot bows and arrows to reinforce the point.


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