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Scott Wallace


Scott Wallace writes about the environment and indigenous affairs for National Geographic and other publications. He is the author of The Unconquered: In Search of the Amazon’s Last Uncontacted Tribes (Crown, 2011). For more information about the book and his work, please visit www.scottwallace.com.

Threats Abound as Peru Cops Seize Timber

Natives fear for their lives after leading police to a stash of ill-gotten timber in Peru’s central Amazon region.

Uncontacted Group Kills Two Natives in Ecuador

Mounting pressure from oil exploration and illegal logging blamed for eruption of violence that leaves two natives dead at the hands of uncontacted indigenous group in the Yasuní National Park.

Massacre of Yanomami Feared in Venezuela

Brazilian Prospectors Said To Raze Native Village As many as 80 Yanomami Indians are feared dead in a village deep in the jungles of Venezuela, victims of an alleged massacre carried out last month by Brazilian gold prospectors. According to a criminal complaint filed this week with prosecutors and military authorities in Puerto Ayacucho, capital…

As the Clock Ticks, Trees Fall in Brazil’s Amazon

As Brazil braces for president Dilma Rousseff’s forthcoming decision on whether to sign or veto recent legislation that would alter the country’s Forest Code, rights groups are decrying a surge in illegal land grabs that is wrecking environmental havoc and threatening vulnerable tribal populations. According to the rights organization Survival International, a gold rush mentality…

Illegal Logging Takes Its Toll in the Amazon

New study says U.S. firms importing millions of dollars worth of ill-gotten timber The timber industry in Peru is rife with corruption and illegality, and international buyers are complicit in a “well-oiled machine” that is plundering the Peruvian rain forest, endangering its rich biodiversity and undermining the welfare of indigenous communities, according to a major new…

More Sightings, Violence Around Uncontacted Tribes

Recent attacks by isolated tribesmen have left one man dead and another wounded in the wilds of southeastern Peru. But what’s causing the increase in conflict?

Peru Releases Dramatic Footage of Uncontacted Indians

The Peruvian government has released dramatic new footage showing a near-encounter with a group of uncontacted Indians along a riverbank in the Amazon rain forest. The video was taken by travelers on the Manu River in southeastern Peru in recent months, according to officials from Peru’s Ministry of the Environment, who released the images on…


Lumberjack invasion spurs cross-border contact between native villages In a sign of growing indigenous activism and impatience with ineffectual bureaucrats, communities in Peru and Brazil have joined forces in recent days to patrol a volatile border region rife with illegal loggers and heavily armed gangs of drug-runners. Earlier this month, a joint patrol of Ashéninka…

Dark Edge of the Frontier

Natives face retaliation when they stand up to those who loot the forest While on assignment for National Geographic in Peru this summer, I had the privilege of visiting the Ashéninka indigenous community of Saweto, at the headwaters of the Alto Tamaya River near the border of Brazil. It can take up to eight grueling…

Concern for Uncontacted Tribes as Armed Gang Invades Brazilian Forest

Five Brazilian Indian rights officials are holding out in a remote jungle outpost in a desperate attempt to protect uncontacted indigenous groups from heavily-armed drug traffickers who have moved into the area from Peru in the past two weeks, according to dispatches from the scene. Officials fear the traffickers may have unleashed a manhunt to track down and exterminate the highly vulnerable tribal populations in order to clear the forests for their coca-growing operations.

Uncontacted Tribe Discovered in Brazilian Amazon

Officials from Brazil’s Indian affairs agency, FUNAI, say they have confirmed the existence of a previously unknown indigenous group in the rugged folds of the western Amazon, believed to number as many as 200 people.

A Death Foretold

In Brazil’s violent backwoods, environmental destruction and murder go hand in hand.

Fisticuffs Erupts in Peru Over Uncontacted Tribes

Officials deny plans to open rain forest reserves, promise new protections