The man behind photos of warriors from an “undiscovered” Amazon tribe that were beamed around the world has admitted it was a hoax.
Indigenous tribes expert, José Carlos Meirelles, said the tribe’s existence had been noted since 1910, and they had been photographed to prove that “uncontacted” tribes still existed in an area endangered by logging, The Guardian reported.
Mr Meirelles, who was working for Funai, the Brazilian Indian Protection Agency dedicated to finding remote tribes and protecting them, said he found the group, recorded they lived, and planned the publicity to protect them from losing their habitat.
UPDATE: Response from the organization that started all this:
Today, Survival International released a statement to try to clarify things, including: “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.
Ah. But we didn’t see them running to straighten things out back then when the misreporting helped their cause. Suddenly, when reporting threatens to harm it, they’re falling all over themselves to set the record straight.
And the media could be “irresponsible”? Who knew?