The newly discovered tribe from Brazil's Amazon Rainforest, who were about 200 in number, has been reported missing by Survival International. Discovery of these uncontacted Indians in February this year sensationalized internet after Survival International and FUNAI, National Indian Foundation of Brazil, released aerial photographs and footage of the tribe.

According to a Survival International report published on Monday, the Brazilian guard post protecting the uncontacted Indians was over-run by heavily-armed men, suspected to be drug-traffickers. It was ransacked and vital equipment were destroyed.

 

"The

The uncontacted tribe made worldwide headlines in February 2011. Credit: Gleison Miranda/Survival International/FUNAI

 

Drug traffickers came under suspicion after workers from FUNAI found one of the traffickers' rucksacks with a broken arrow inside, the report said. A rapid survey by government officials has shown no trace of the Indians.

A package containing 20 kg of cocaine has been seized by the police from the nearby area. It is suspected the Envira River, where the post is located, has become an entry point into Brazil for cocaine smugglers from Peru.

Police have detained a Portuguese national arrested for drug trafficking in March.

"Arrows are like the identity card of uncontacted Indians. We think the Peruvians made the Indians flee. Now we have good proof. We are more worried than ever. This situation could be one of the biggest blows we have ever seen in the protection of uncontacted Indians in recent decades. It's a catastrophe," Carlos Travassos, the head of the Brazilian government's isolated Indians department was quoted as saying.

In a message to Survival International, José Carlos Meirelles, the former head of the post, said, "We will remain here, come what may, until the Brazilian state decides to resolve this situation once and for all. Not for our protection, but for the protection of the Indians."

Meirelles has taken control of the post with several groups of men armed with sub-machine guns and rifles as the forest near to the base in under close surveillance. 

Film footage narrated by movie star Gillian Anderson released by Survival International as part of a campaign to protect some of the world's last uncontacted tribes: