Authorities said a man who lived in self-isolation in the Brazilian Amazon for almost three decades, believed to be the last survivor of a now-extinct indigenous community, has been found dead.
Known as the “Tanaro Indian,” he was found dead Aug. 23 in an adobe indigenous tanaroo hut, Funai, Brazil’s state agency for indigenous affairs, said over the weekend.
He was also known as “Indio do buraco” (“The Hole Indian”) because of his habit of digging deep holes in the huts where he lived.
According to the NGO Survival, the indigenous land of Tanaroo in the state of Rondonia, on the border with Bolivia, is a jungle island surrounded by extensive pastoral farms, in one of the most dangerous regions in Brazil, mainly due to illegal mining and logging .
Authorities did not release the man’s age or cause of death, but said they saw “no sign of violence or struggle.”
“All indications are that death was due to natural causes,” Funai said in a statement, adding that no evidence was found of other people at the scene.
Authorities believe the man spent 26 years alone, wandering the jungle after members of his already tiny community gradually disappeared in the mid-1990s as loggers and ranchers took over the surrounding land.
“With his death, the genocide of these indigenous peoples came to an end,” said Fiona Watson, director of research for Survival, who visited the Tanara territory in 2004. – It was a real genocide, the deliberate destruction of an entire people by pastoralists. hungry for land and wealth,” she said.
The presence of isolated indigenous groups in Brazil with no contact with the rest of the world has been found in 114 different locations, Funai said. However, according to reports, the assessment varies.
According to the 2010 census, more than 800,000 people consider themselves native to Brazil, a huge country of 212 million people.
More than half of them live in the Amazon, and many are threatened by the illegal and large-scale exploitation of the natural resources on which they depend for survival.