This is a movie waiting to happen. It’s like the old West, with cowboys and Indians and prospectors shooting it up over goldmines and land. But it’s in the Amazon jungle and the Indians are the Cinta Larga and the mines are filled with diamonds. The LA Times had a tiny story recently about illegal diamond prospectors killed by Indians in a battle on the Roosevelt reserve in Rondonia State, South America’s richest diamond region. Although the Union of Rondonia State Prospectors put the death toll at 79, a spokesman for Brazil’s National Indian Foundation said the federal police have confirmed 23 bodies. “And on Monday,” he said, “a federal police task force of 280 men is going to the area to remove all the prospectors, disarm everybody.” And by disarm, he probably didn’t mean for the miners to find the task force enchanting.
This is the fourth time in 10 years that federal authorities launch an operation to remove invaders from the land of the Cinta Larga, a people of Mondé linguistic origin whose population was reduced from 650 people in 1993 to less than 400 today. The area, located in the south tip of the state of Rondônia and northwest of the state of Mato Grosso, has large reserves of diamonds. The Federal Police estimates that gems amounting to 50 million dollars were smuggled from the region to Belgium last year. (brazzil.com)
OK, so there actually aren’t any cowboys.