Although it is nearly impossible for many of us to imagine, there are still some indigenous people in the most remote places on Earth that largely keep to their ancestral ways of life. An expert on those tribes was tragically killed when he was fatally shot by an arrow that the tribe fired.
56 year old Rieli Franciscato was one of the world’s leading scholars on the indigenous people of the Amazons. An official from the Brazilian government announced that Rieli was killed in the remote jungles in Northern Brazil on Wednesday.
A photojournalist who accompanied Rieli and his other team members on the expedition say that Rieli was shot by an arrow right above the heart. He is said to have ran in agony for about 50 meters before collapsing to the ground to his death.
On this expedition, Rieli was also accompanied by a police patrol. Ironically, a former Brazilian official who worked with the indigenous people believes that the presence of the police may have been the very reason why the tribes turned hostile towards Rieli.
The witnesses relayed the tense situation in which everyone ran behind their vehicles as the tribe showered them with arrows. Rieli unfortunately did not protect his entire body, which is why he was shot in his chest.
Officials and local news media seemed as confounded by the attacks as outside readers, mainly because the tribe that attacked Rieli and his team have long been thought to be peaceful. In a previous encounter, this particular tribe had even left a little gift for the research party.
Experts who analyzed the story said that one core difference this time was the group size. Whereas the previous encounters were with large groups, the group that attacked Rieli this time was a small, elite group of warriors. Why they sent a war group to seek revenge of some sort is unclear.
Experts say that based on previous incidents, the tribes often turn hostile when outsiders ‘invade’ their land. In most cases, these intruders are miners or poachers who creeped into the nearly unregulated corners of the jungle.
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