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Amazon Tribes Turn the Tables on Intruders With Social Media

In this photo provided by Kwazady xipaya, president of the Indigenous Association Pyjahyry xipaya Aldeia tukamã, Indigenous leaders Kwazady Xipaia Mendes and Juma Xipaia participate in an online meeting with the Federal Prosecutors' Office, in the Karimaa village of Altamira, Para state, Brazil, March 15, 2022. A fast-expanding network of antennae is empowering Indigenous groups to use phones, video cameras and social media to galvanize the public and pressure authorities to respond swiftly to threats from gold miners, landgrabbers and loggers. (Warawara Xipaya dos Santos/Indigenous Association Pyjahyry xipaya Aldeia tukamã via AP)
In this photo provided by Kwazady xipaya, president of the Indigenous Association Pyjahyry xipaya Aldeia tukamã, Indigenous leaders Kwazady Xipaia Mendes and Juma Xipaia participate in an online meeting with the Federal Prosecutors' Office, in the Karimaa village of Altamira, Para state, Brazil, March 15, 2022. A fast-expanding network of antennae is empowering Indigenous groups to use phones, video cameras and social media to galvanize the public and pressure authorities to respond swiftly to threats from gold miners, landgrabbers and loggers. (Warawara Xipaya dos Santos/Indigenous Association Pyjahyry xipaya Aldeia tukamã via AP)
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Rio De Janeiro (AP) -- It was dusk on April 14 when Francisco Kuruaya heard a boat approaching along the river near his village in Brazil’s Amazon rainforest. He assumed it was the regular delivery boat bringing gasoline for generators and outboard motors to remote settlements like his. Instead, what Kuruaya found was a barge dredging his people's pristine river in search of gold.

Kuruaya had never seen a dredge operating in this area of the Xipaia people's territory, let alone one this massive; it resembled a floating factory.