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New documentary about isolated indigenous peoples coproduced by IWGIA

April 20 2016

There are around 100 different indigenous peoples who currently live in voluntary isolation or have only sporadic contact with surrounding communities. They live in the most inaccessible parts of the Amazon rainforest and the Chaco forest in Paraguay. They are in serious danger of disappearing physically or culturally because of the continued loss of their traditional territories, product of the progress of extractive industries, such as timber, mining or infrastructure.

The majority of these indigenous peoples live in the Amazon region of Brazil, Peru and Bolivia. Most of them live in the border area between Brazil and Peru and in the bordering territory between Brazil and Bolivia. There are also isolated indigenous peoples in Ecuador and Colombia and one single people, the Ayoreo, living in Paraguay. In Venezuela there are groups with sporadic contact to the surrounding society.

The Korubo People and the film

The indigenous Korubo people of the Brazilian Amazon have recently entered in contact with the national society, but some Korubo families still remain in isolation. The documentary, called 'Korubo: Una Etnia sin Fronteras",  gives us images of the group contacted in 1996, about their relationship with the National Indian Foundation (Funai) and about the search for their isolated relatives. 

The documentary was shot in Brasil in 2013 and coproduced by IPES Elkartea, IWGIA, FUNAI and Ore-media and was directed by Ernesto Solis, Mariana Fagundes and Luís Abramo.

IWGIA's work for indigenous peoples in isolation and initial contact

The International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA) supports the protection of indigenous peoples in isolation and initial contact, promoting special national and international mechanisms to respect their living decisions.

IWGIA works to protect the isolated indigenous peoples’ human rights both on national and international levels in corporation with local indigenous organizations. On a national level, IWGIA supports and cooperates with local indigenous NGOs and publishes reports and books about isolated peoples based on fieldwork by local anthropologists. Only by documenting their existence it is possible to pressure governments to take preventive measures when planning development. The goal is for governments to title land on behalf of the isolated peoples and protect them from intrusion of resource extraction.

You can read more about Isolated Indigenous peoples on our website.