Tragic attack sparks concern for future of isolated Amazon tribes
Mistaken for an intruder, a determined defender of Brazil’s Indigenous groups is killed in an arrow attack by isolated nomads.
The death of Rieli Franciscato, a veteran Brazilian Indigenous rights defender, at the hands of an isolated tribe has shaken colleagues who fear the incident could have wide-ranging implications for the protection of vulnerable tribal populations.
Franciscato, 56, was killed on September 9 when an arrow struck him in the chest as he followed members of the tribe known as the “isolated group of Cautário” into the forest. He had hastily organized a small team of scouts and police officers in an effort to defuse a potential conflict between the Cautário nomads and rural settlers in the western state of Rondônia.
A veteran field agent of the Indigenous affairs agency FUNAI, Franciscato was viewed as one of the most experienced and committed