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© 2001 Erling Söderström


The so-called "Korubo" Indians are one of close to sixty Indian groups who live completely isolated in the Amazon forest.


First people of the Amazon rainforest



International Alliance for the Protection of Isolated Indigenous People

In November 2005 the first international conference on isolated, uncontacted people was held in Belem, Brasil with participants from a dozen contries, including the seven Latin American states who still have uncontacted tribal groups.

Through this meeting a new netwwork was born, transcending the national borders in endeavours to safeguard the world cultural heritage of these groups.

The institutions and individuals attending the First International Symposium on Isolated Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon and the Gran Chaco region, held in Belém, Pará (Brazil), 8 – 11 November 2005, created the International Alliance for the Protection of Isolated Indigenous Peoples. Through this declaration, the Alliance wishes to alert the governments of those countries in which isolated indigenous peoples, or those in initial contact, subsist:


1.      Indigenous peoples or groups of such peoples continue to live in the Amazon and Gran Chaco region and in other parts of the world, who, of their own volition or because of various forms of aggression, have decided to maintain themselves isolated from the rest of society.[1]


2.      The isolated indigenous peoples of Amazonia and the Gran Chaco are located in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay and Peru[i].


3.      The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the original inhabitants of and precede national States. Isolated indigenous peoples, in particular, are living examples of the original indigenous population, as well as survivors of historical and continuing genocide.


4.      During the past fifty years innumerable peoples in isolation (and their cultures and languages) have disappeared, almost unnoticed by their governments and national societies.


5.      Isolated indigenous peoples constitute a tangible and intangible social and cultural patrimony of humanity.


6.      The interdependence of such peoples with their territories ensures the integrity of the biodiversity of vast areas of the biosphere in a good state of conservation.


7.      Such peoples cannot rapidly develop genetic defenses against alien diseases, and they may suffer from malnutrition, which makes them extremely vulnerable.


8.      Their condition of powerlessness, vulnerability, lack of protection, and disadvantage in the face of national States and societies, all threaten and undermine their rights.


9.      The absence of legal instruments, institutional structures, or coherent, specific and effective public policies in the nations of Amazonia and the Gran Chaco makes it difficult to adopt measures that guarantee the physical, cultural and territorial integrity of isolated indigenous peoples.


10. There are many external threats caused by current development policies (projects or megaprojects of hydrocarbon extraction, mining, gold prospecting, road building, hydroelectric dams, forestry, cattle-ranching and farming, water extraction, privatization of natural resources (such as water, forests or biodiversity), illegal activities (logging, drug trafficking, mineral prospecting, or extraction of endangered fauna and flora), deforestation, colonization, and the presence of external agents (missionaries, tourist or scientific organizations, film crews, adventurers, and others)).


11. Convention 169 of the International Labor Organization, on Indigenous and Tribal Peoples in Independent Countries, has been ratified by all these nations that contain isolated indigenous peoples (Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay and Peru), and is thus required to be implemented as national law in every one of these countries.[2]


12. The Universal Declaration on Human Rights (1948), The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (1948), UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity (2001), The Paris Convention to Safeguard the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003), The Convention on Biological Diversity (Rio, 1992),  Resolution 3056, on Indigenous Peoples Living in Voluntary Isolation and the Conservation of Nature in the Amazon Region and Chaco (Bangkok, 2004), are all documents to be respected, as are:


13. The recommendation on isolated indigenous peoples adopted in Session IV of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues of the United Nations (2005), paragraph 73[3]; the Proposal of the Working Group charged with drafting the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples of the Organization of American States (in its last session, Guatemala, 2005).[4]


14. Some indigenous organizations, NGOs, civil-rights organizations and others do significant work for the adoption and implementation of legal instruments, public polices, territorial management, environmental protection, the execution of programs of protection and defense, and public information campaigns.


15. Isolated indigenous peoples and those in cross-border situations; the Ayeréode in  Paraguay and Bolivia, the Tagaeri, Taromenane and other Huaorani in Ecuador, isolated Awa-Guajá and those of the Pardo River in Brazil, Nanti, Machiguenga, Nahua, Cacataibo, Mascho-Piro, Murunahua and Yora from Peru,  Nukak-Makú of Colombia, and the Yanomami, among others, currently face serious threats. 




1.      Official recognition by the governments of the nations of Amazonia and the Gran Chaco of the existence of isolated indigenous peoples in their territories and their responsibility to protect them.


2.      The recognition and protection of their decision to live in isolation, as well as all human, individual, collective and environmental rights that assist the men and women of isolated indigenous peoples.


3.      The lawful recognition of their original or traditional territories, and their inalienable, inviolable, indivisible and non-proscriptive rights over them, as a means of guaranteeing their physical and cultural subsistence.


4.      That national States adopt, apply and effectively implement measures
for the direct protection of the lives and territories of isolated peoples to
prevent the entry or activities of external agents who might violate their


5.      The effective implementation of Convention 169 on Indigenous
and Tribal Peoples in Independent Nations (ILO) – a legal instrument specifically for the protection of these peoples – and the drafting,
adoption and execution of specific laws, public policies and administrative
measures for the protection of isolated indigenous peoples.


6.      The immediate cessation or modification of all projects that may cause harm by means of deforestation or colonization, and illicit and illegal activities, and other activities currently under way or planned in the territories and surroundings of isolated indigenous peoples.


7.      The immediate suspension of financing by multilateral organisations of projects that threaten the physical, cultural or territorial integrity of isolated indigenous peoples.


8.      That national and international policies for the conservation of biodiversity and for the creation of protected natural areas recognize the precedence and primacy of the rights of isolated indigenous peoples.


9.      National policies that prioritize, administer and implement actions in favor of these peoples.


10. The adoption of urgent public-health measures (including isolation of areas and evaluation of risks – but always respecting the traditions of these peoples) and, when contact is imminent, consideration of the above- mentioned risks, that States apply adequate medical measures via the responsible organs and authorities.


11. That all States, with the participation of appropriate indigenous organizations and NGOs, assume responsibility for drafting, administering and supervising governmental public polices for the protection of such peoples.


12. The governments of Paraguay, Bolivia, Ecuador, Brazil, Peru and
Colombia take immediate and effective action to ensure the survival of
the following isolated indigenous peoples or segments thereof: Ayoreo, Tagaeri, Taromenane and other Huaorani, of the Awa-Guajá, the isolated peoples of the Pardo River, Nanti, Matsiguenka, Nahua, Mashco-Piro, Cacataibo, Murunahua, Yora,  Nukak-Makú, and the Yanomami among others.


13. The promotion of efforts towards mutual understanding and bilateral or multilateral agreements between States to implement policies and measures of protection for isolated indigenous peoples who find themselves in cross-border situations.


14. The inclusion of necessary measures in public policy-making to avoid, prohibit and punish every non-authorized intrusion into the territories of isolated indigenous peoples. 


Approved in plenary session of the First International Symposium on Isolated
Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon Region and the Gran Chaco, Belem do Pará, Brazil, 11 November 2005.



[1] Such indigenous peoples are also variously known as peoples in a state of voluntary isolation, hidden peoples,

uncontacted peoples, or forest dwellers, among other descriptions. Others find themselves in a state of initial contact.

[2] This Convention has the virtue of containing (Article 1, point b) a disposition that specifically includes the rights of all

indigenous peoples, not excluding those in a state of isolation.


[3] Paragraph 73: The Forum recommends that States pay special attention to the situation of uncontacted indigenous peoples, peoples in voluntary isolation, and peoples in isolated and remote localities and displaced persons from indigenous communities. The Forum recommends that the Special Rapporteur on the human rights and fundamental freedoms of indigenous peoples pays special attention in his annual reports to the situation of these peoples. The Forum also considers that the situation of these peoples should be the subject of a special international meeting during the Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People.


[4] Article XXVI:

1. Indigenous peoples in voluntary isolation or in initial contact, have the right to remain in such a condition and live freely according to their cultures.

2. The States will adopt adequate measures and policies, with the knowledge and participation of indigenous peoples and organization, to recognize, respect and protect the lands, territories, environment and culture of these peoples, as well as their life and individual or collective integrity.

[i] We confirm the presence, in addition to indigenous peoples in initial contact, of isolated indigenous peoples or parts thereof in the following areas:



·         Kaa Yya National Park(Chaco)

·         Madidi Nacional Park (La Paz)

As well as isolated areas of the departments of La Paz, Beni and Santa Cruz along the frontiers between Brazil and Peru.



·         Envira River

·         Upper Tarauacá River

·         Upper Iaco (Mamoadate)

·         Interfluvial zones between the Xingu and Fresco rivers

·         Upper and middle Purus River

·         Guaporé River in Mato Grosso

·         Tea River (Negro River basin)

·         Pardo River in Mato Grosso

·         Gurupi rivers and upper Guamá in the province of Maranhão

·         Inauini River

·         Isolated peoples from the Buriticupu and Taruparu rivers (Araribóia) in Maranhão

·         Tumucumaque  Indigenous Park in the provinces of Pará and Amapá

·         Javari River Valley  (isolated peoples from the Jandiatuba river, Upper Jutaí, São

·         José,  Quixito, Itaquaí, Rio Branco and middle Javari);

·         Isolated peoples from the Jaquirana/Amburus rivers (Javari Valley Indiginous Land)

·         Igarapé and Muriru (Juruena and Aripuanã river basins in Mato Grosso).

·         Kayapó Pu´ro isolated peoples of the Curuá river.

·         Isolated peoples from Bararati in Apuí and Sucurundi in the province of Amazonas.

·         Isolated peoples from the Tanaru river in Rondônia.

·         Isolated peoples from the head of the Jaminaua river (Kampa Indigenous Lands and Isolated peoples of Envira)

·         Isolated peoples of the São Simão river (Massaco Indigenous Lands )

·         Isolados peoples from the head of the Muqui river and Cautário (Uru-eu-wau-wau Indigenous Land)

·         Isolated peoples of igarapé Água Branca (Caru Indigenous Land)



·         Purê National Park, along the State frontier with Brazil.



·         Yasuní National Park and Zona Intangible Tagaeri-Taromenane.

·         As well as other isolated regions along the Peruvian border with the provinces of Orellana and Pastaza. 



·         Amotocodie region and other  regions of the North of Chaco, including border zones with Bolivia.



·         Napo Rivers – Tigre (Loreto)

·         Yavarí Mirim Rivers (Loreto)

·         Yavarí Rivers – Tapiche (Loreto)

·         Alto Callería Rivers –Aguablanca (Loreto)

·         Cordillera Azul (Loreto and Ucayali)

·         Alto Aguaytía River (Huánuco)

·         San Alejandro River (Ucayali)

·         Sungaruyacu River (Huánuco)

·         Cordillera Vilcabamba (Junín)

·         Isconahua Land Reserve (Ucayali)

·         Murunahua Land Reserve (Ucayali)

·         Alto Purús Land Reserve (also known as Mashco Piro, Ucayali)

·         Parque Nacional Alto Purús (Ucayali, Madre de Dios)

·         Madre de Dios State Land Reserve for indigenous peoples in isolation (Madre de Dios)

·         Manu National Park (Madre de Dios)

·         Nahua Kugapakori State Land Reserve and Nanti (Cusco and Ucayali)










List of Participants and Guests

* No-Show









Alejandro Parellada*

IWGIA – Ecuador

Alex Rivas Toledo

CDES – Ecuador

Ana Suelly

ABRALIN – Brazil

Anders Krogh

 Rainforest Foundation Norway

Angela Kemper*

DKA – Austria

Antonio Silveira R. Santos

A Última Arca de Noé  - Judge – Brazil

Armstrong Wiggins*

Indian Law Resource Center – USA

Arturo Villanueva

Defensoría del Pueblo – Bolívia

Azzurra Carpo

Latinamerica Press – Perú/Itália – Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna

Beatriz Huertas


Benno Glauser

Iniciativa Amotocodie Paraguay

Bernardo Fischermann

Antropólogo de los Ayoreo Bolívia

Carolina Vilalva


César Gamboa Balbín

Derecho, Ambiente y Recursos Naturales - DAR

Christian Ramos Veloz


Christine Born*

Brot-für-die-Welt – Germany  

Cristina Carvalho

Comissão Européia/Brazil

Dalmo de Abreu Dallari*

Jurista – Brazil

   Deborah Macedo Duprat de Britto  


Procuradora/ 6ª Câmara de Coord. e Revisão – Índios e Minorias – Brazil

   Denise Hamú* 

WWF - Brazil

Diego Azqueta

WATU Acción Indígena Espanha

Dirk Englisch

Médico / Germany

EgbertoTabo Chupinabi*

COICA – Ecuador

Eduardo Aguiar de Almeida

Forum Permanente sobre Cuestiones Indígenas de la ONU

Eduardo Pichilingue

EcoCiencia – Ecuador

Eduardo R. N. Da Gama

CTI – Centro de Trabalho Indigenista – Brazil

   Elisabeth Moder*

Horizont3000 – Austria

Elizabeth Reichel-Dolmatoff


Enrique Ortiz

MOORE Foundation

Eric Stoner


Erling Söderström

Jornalista Internacional

Esther Prieto

Jurista – Paraguay

Fany Ricardo

Instituto Socioambiental ISA – Brazil

Fernando de Niemeyer

Frente de Proteção Etno-ambiental – Brazil

   Fiona Watson*

Survival International – Inglaterra

   Francisco Cali*

International Indian Treaty Council

Francisco PL Couto Rosa

Frente de Proteção Etno-ambiental – Brazil

Francisco Ruiz*

OTCA – Organização do Tratado de Coop. Amazônica

Gabriel Muyuy Jacanamejoy

Defensoría del Pueblo Colômbia

   Eduardo Dias da Costa Villas Bôas*  

Comandante/CMA – Comando Militar da Amazônia-Brazil

Genival Santos*

COIAB – Brazil

Gilberto Azanha

CTI – Centro de Trabalho Indigenista – Brazil

Gladys Armas

Consul da Venezuela (Observadora)

   Gonzalo Oviedo*

IUCN – The World Conservation Union -  Switzerland

Haroldo A. Salazar Rossi


   Kittisak Rattanakrajangsri *

Int. Alliance of Ind. & Tribal Peoples of the Tropics- UNFF

João Carlos Lobato

Frente de Proteção Etno-ambiental – Brazil

John Hemming

Historiador - Inglaterra

   Johnson Cerda*

Amazon Alliance – USA

   Jonathan Wilkenfeld*

Minorities at Risk Project (MAR) / CIDCM – USA

   Jorge Grandi*

UNESCO – Brazil

   Jorge Uguillas*

Indigenous Peoples and Sust. Dev. Program/World BanK

José Gregorio Mirabal*

Curripacos/Amazonas – Venezuela

   José Miguel Vivanco*

Human Rights Watch - HRW

Juliana Severino

CGII/FUNAI – CTI Organização / Transporte

Klaus Rummenhoeller

Antropólogo – Peru

Lars Lovold

Rainforest Foundation Norway

   Lee Jong-Wook*

World Health Organization (WHO) – Switzerland

Luis Alberto Anrango Bonilla

Defensoría del Pueblo Ecuador

Luis Jesús Bello*

Defensoría del Pueblo Venezuela

Luis Miguel Domínguez

Exotarium / Avatar Producciones  Espanha

   Luis Toro*

Attorney / Commission on Human Rights / OAS

Luiz Philippe Vasconcellos

Escola Paulista de Medicina Brazil

Manoela Mescia Costa

CGII/FUNAI – CTI Organização / Financeiro

Marcelo Piedrafita

Comissão Pró-Índio do Acre - Brazil

   Marcus Colchester*

Forest Peoples Programme – Inglaterra

   Mark Lattimer*

Minority Rights Group International - Inglaterra

Margarita Benavides

Instituto del Bien Común - Peru

Margarita Vara

Instituto del Bien Común - Peru

Maria Artola Gonzales

Fundación Biodiversidad Espanha

Maria da Cunha

BID – Banco Inter-Americano para o Desenvolvimento

   Matilde Ribeiro* 

Ministra Chefe da Sect. Especial para Políticas de Promoção da Igualdade Racial – Brazil

   Martin Scurrah*

Indigenous and Minority Rights / Oxfam – USA

Martín von Hildebrand

Fundación Gaia – Colômbia

   Matthias Buck

Policy Officer /Biodiversity/European Commission-Belgica

Maurizio Leigheb

Associação Italiana para a Ciência Etno-Antropológica

Maxwell da Silva Verpa

Frente de Proteção Etno-ambiental – Brazil

   Mila Rosenthal*

Business and Human Rights / Amnesty International -USA

   Miriam Anne Frank*

International Human Rights and Environment - Holanda

   Nazaré Imbiriba*

Amazon Paper – Brazil

Omar Silveira Junior

CTI – Centro de Trabalho Indigenista – Brazil

   Oraida Maria Machado de Abreu*

Cons. Nacional de Promoção da Igualdade Racial – Brazil

Orlando de M. Possuelo

Frente de Proteção Etno-ambiental – Brazil

Pablo De la Cruz

Defensoría del Pueblo del Perú

Patrícia R. C. N. Da Gama

CTI – Centro de Trabalho Indigenista – Brazil

Patrick Menget

Escola Prática de Altos Estudos/Survival France

   Peter Kostishak*

Amazon Alliance – USA

Pilar Camero Berrios

WWF - Perú

   Rebecca Adamson*

First Peoples Worldwide – USA

   Roberto Antonio Busato*

OAB – Ordem dos Advogados do Brazil

Rosa Cartagenes Lobato

Frente de Proteção Etno-ambiental – Brazil

   Rudolph Raÿser*

Center for World Indigenous Studies – CWIS

   Ruth Nogueron*

Global Forest Watch – USA

Sita Venkateswar

Massey University, Antropóloga – Nova Zelândia

Sonia Castañeda Rial (FB)*

Fundación Biodiversidad – Espanha

Soraya Zaiden

Caixa Econômica Federal – Brazil

   Stephan Shwartzman*

Environmental Defense – USA

Steve Bowles

International Film-maker

Sydney Possuelo

CGII/FUNAI – Coordenação Geral de Índios Isolados

Vincent Brackelaire

Consultor Regional p/ a Bacia Amazônica

Volver Von Bremen*

Antropólogo – Germany 

Wellington Figueiredo

FUNAI – Fundação Nacional do Índio – Brazil