The ‘man in the hole’ has lived in isolation for 26 years after other members of his tribe were killed by illegal loggers and loggers.
The last of his people, an indigenous Brazilian man known only as the “man of the pit”, were found dead, decades after the rest of the tribe died. His contacts were killed by ranchers and illegal miners, officials said.
The man – whose real name was never known to the outside world – was found in a hammock in a hut in the Tanaru indigenous territory in Rondonia state, on the border with Bolivia on August 23, Brazil’s National Fund of Indians (FUNAI) said in a statement. . He has lived in complete isolation for 26 years.
Since losing his acquaintances, the man refuses all contact with the outside world and feeds himself by hunting and farming. His nickname comes from his habit of digging deep holes inside the huts he sets up, possibly to trap animals but also to hide inside.
He lived in an indigenous territory surrounded by vast cattle ranches and under Persistent threat from illegal loggers and loggers in one of the most dangerous areas of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, according to Survival International.
Authorities in Brazil would not comment on the man’s cause of death, nor his age, but said there were “no signs of violence or struggle”.
They also found no evidence of anyone else’s presence in his home or around it.
FUNAI, a government agency under the Ministry of Justice that deals with Indigenous peoples, said: “Everything indicates that the death was of natural causes.
Local media reported that the man’s body was covered in parrot feathers, leading one expert to speculate that he knew he was about to die.
The man is believed to have been alone since the remaining members of his small tribe were killed in the mid-1990s by illegal loggers and miners seeking to exploit the area tribe.
Human rights groups say most of the tribe was killed in the 1970s when ranchers moved into the area, clearing forests and attacking residents.
Fiona Watson, chief of investigation for Survival International, who visited the Tanaru territory in 2004, said: “With his death, this indigenous genocide is complete.
“It was truly a genocide: the deliberate removal of entire peoples by ranchers starving for land and wealth,” she added.
According to the most recent government data, there are some 800,000 natives belong to more than 300 distinct groups living in Brazil, a country of 212 million people.
More than half live in the Amazon, and many of them are threatened by the illegal exploitation of the natural resources on which they depend for survival.
According to FUNAI, there are 114 records of isolated Indigenous groups in Brazil, although that number varies.
Under Brazil’s far-right President, Jair Bolsonaro, deforestation in the Amazon hit record levels in the first half of 2022.
President, who is it? follow in the polls ahead of this year’s election, encouraged mining and farming in protected areas, sparking anger among environmentalists.