So yesterday I posted that the story about about the so-called 'lost' Amazon tribe was a hoax. Turns out, the story is true after all, if a little more complicated than originally reported by an over-enthusiastic media. Survival International, the group behind the original pictures, released a statement today clarifying the whole mess. From Live Science:
"The story is not a hoax, and none of those involved in working to protect these Indians' rights have ever claimed they were 'undiscovered.'"
Survival never claimed that the tribe was lost. The story got out of control, says Fiona Watson, Survival's Brazil expert, as a result of irresponsible reporting.
"Some of the media got very carried away and started talking about undiscovered tribes," Watson told LiveScience. "There was this interpretation that this was a completely new tribe, completely undiscovered, without bothering to check with sources. Neither the Brazilian government nor Survival has ever used that word, and 'uncontacted' means they don't have any contact with outsiders."
Survival International's Web site includes a page about "uncontacted tribes," here, which states that more than 100 uncontacted tribes are known worldwide, with more than half living in either Brazil or Peru. These tribes, "whilst not 'lost,' simply reject contact with the outside world," according to Survival's statement today.
So they are 'known', but are 'uncontacted'. An important distinction in a news story that somehow managed to become more complicated than SALT II.