Authorities in Peru intend to make contact with the isolated Amazonian tribe Mashco-Piro, which calls the jungle home. The authorities' interest in doing this is owed chiefly to the fact that members of the tribe have been increasingly stepping beyond their traditional territories.
This is the report given by Peruvian minister of culture Patricia Balbuena, quoted by Reuters. In recent years, representatives of the isolated tribe have often been spotted outside their own territories in Manú National Park - usually looking for food or weapons.
The tribe's isolated way of life has not prevented it from having at least some experience with civilization, report authorities. Representatives of Mashco-Piro have had contact with locals, tourists, Christian emissaries, who have, as it turns out, quite often given them food and clothes.
At this point, it is only the authorities who have not yet made contact with the tribe, adds the minister of culture.
All possible safety measures are planned for such an encounter. Additionally, authorities aim to bring doctors who can provide aid to the natives.
In Peru, outsiders are prohibited from attempting to make contact with members of tribes that live in isolation from civilization. The reason is that the immune systems of people of those tribes are much less resistant in comparison to individuals in modern civilization.
However, this restriction is exceptionally difficult to enforce, what's more is that no additional sanctions exist for breaking it. A local Peruvian organization, FENAMAD, also believes that people should not approach representatives of secluded tribes. The main reason there being that such an encounter may lead to undesirable consequences, as has happened in the past.
Klaus Quicque, president of the organization, is adamant that the transit of boats near the tribe needs to also be limited. He believes that people who approach the tribe's lands face a serious danger. In the 19th century, during the Amazon rubber boom in Peru, tribesmen of Mashco-Piro had refused all contact with any who were not members of the tribe.
But in recent years, the natives have been appearing in populated areas near their own lands very frequently. Most commonly they've been spotted gesturing to people they see near river banks, claims Balbuena.
Authorities are also familiar with incidents where people have made close contact with members of Mashco-Piro. Locals have been attacked with stones and arrows on several occasions by the natives, state authorities.