Peru’s fight for its isolated communities | DW Documentary

The Mashco Piro people live in near-total isolation in a reserve in the Peruvian Amazon. A river separates these indigenous people from the outside world. Now, a team of anthropologists and members of other native groups are working protect to Mashco Piro from gold miners and the drug mafia.

Only the Río Madre de Dios separates the indigenous Mashco Piro from other villages and settlements on the other side of the river. Until about 10 years ago, photographs taken during flights over Peru’s Manú National Park – one of the most biodiverse rainforest areas on earth – were the only indication of their existence.

Then, they began to show themselves. They raided settlements in search of machetes, pots and plantains. Meanwhile, missionaries and other indigenous people – who see the Mashco Piro as a brother tribe – tried to make contact.

Finally, Peru’s government decide to undertake a unique project to protect one of the last truly isolated peoples on Earth. A team of anthropologists and indigenous people is sent to try to find out if the Mashco Piro actually want contact. They also inform them that the world on the other side of the river follows a different set of rules.

However, when the Mashco Piro murder an old man who has trespassed into their protected area, the two worlds collide. While some are fascinated by what they see as the authenticity of the Mashco Piro, others enrich themselves at the tribe’s expense, through drug smuggling, illegal logging or gold mining.

This documentary addresses our views of indigenous peoples. Told with empathy and respect for all voices, the film’s narrative also poses the question: how do we want to shape our futures?

#documentary #dwdocumentary #peru

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