‘The man from the hole’ dies, the indigenous isolated for 26 years in the Brazilian jungle
An indigenous known as ‘The man in the hole‘ has died in Brazil. He was the last member of his people and the only inhabitant of the indigenous territory of Tanaruin the state of Rondonia, in the western Brazilian Amazon.
The coordinator of the Guaporé Ethno-environmental Protection Front of the National Foundation for the Indian (Funai), Altair José Algayer, found the ‘Indio del Hoyo’ dead last Tuesday, August 23, while guarding the territory. .
Funai has been monitoring and protecting the ‘Indio del Hoyo’ for 26 yearswhen it was found in the indigenous landa of Tanaru, near the border with Bolivia. The Tanaru Indigenous Land, which is 8,070 hectares, has been classified as restricted use since 1998.
The rest of his people were massacred in a series of attacks that began in the 1970s. Very little was known about his people, as the last survivor resisted any attempt to contact him. He was known as ‘The man in the hole for their habit of building deep holes, some with sharp stakes in them. In 2018 it was recorded by a government team during a chance encounter.
The territory of Tanaru stands as a small island of forest in a sea of huge agricultural and livestock farms, in one of the most violent regions of Brazil. Survival, together with Brazilian organizations, campaigned for many years to have their land protected.
Fiona Watson, director of research and campaigns for Survival, visited the territory in 2004 with a Brazilian government monitoring team, and recounted the visit in an article.
“No one from the outside knew this man’s name, and not even much was known about his people… Now with his death his death is complete.” genocide. Because this is really about genocide: the deliberate annihilation of an entire people by ranchers hungry for land and wealth, “said Watson a few hours ago.
He added: “It symbolized both the appalling violence and cruelty inflicted on Indigenous villages from all over the world in the name of colonization and economic benefits, such as their resistance. We only glimpse to imagine the horrors he suffered in his life and the loneliness of his existence after the rest of his people were killed, but he determinedly resisted all attempts at contact and made it clear that all he wanted was to be left alone. If the president Bolsonaro and their agribusiness allies get away with it, this story will repeat itself over and over again until all the indigenous peoples of the country are annihilated. The indigenous movement in Brazil and Survival will do everything we can to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
OPI (Observatório dos Direitos Humanos dos Povos Indígenas Isolados e de Recente Contato), has requested that the Tanaru reserve be permanently protected “as a memorial, out of respect for the trajectory of resistance of its only inhabitant and to remind everyone of the tragedy of the indigenous genocide, so that it never happens again.” From Survival they support this petition.