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  • 5 September 2014, 14:29

Tribes Capture Men Accused of Illegal Logging

Amazonian warriors have captured, tied-up and stripped loggers who they claim were illegally destroying their land in the Brazilian rainforest.

The Ka'apor Indians said they were tired of the government apparently not doing enough to keep the loggers away.

The group, as well as four other tribes, are the legal inhabitants and caretakers of the Alto Turiacu Indian territory in the Amazonian basin.

They have been sending out their warriors to expel all loggers and set up monitoring camps in the areas illegally exploited.

The warriors also set fire to their trucks and used chainsaws to ruin logs they found. They later released the men.

It comes a week after Brazilian authorities said they had broken up a criminal organisation they claim to be the single "biggest destroyer" of the rainforest.

The gang was accused of invading public land to carrying out illegal logging as well as burn and clear large areas so they could sell them for grazing or cultivation.

Brazilian police said the gang was responsible for $222m (136m) of damage and are facing charges including forgery, conspiracy, money laundering, tax invasion, theft and environmental crimes.

Six alleged members were arrested in the city of Novo Progresso before being taken to Belem, capital city of Para state in northern Brazil.

Since the 1980s up to a third of the Ka'apor Indians' land has reportedly been illegally deforested and converted to towns, rice fields and cattle pastures by landless peasants, cattle ranchers, loggers and local politicians.

In 2013, deforestation in the Amazon increased by nearly a third from the previous year.

The rise was an unwelcome reversal of what had been steady progress over the past decade against destruction of the world's largest rainforest.

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