Brazil: indigenous reserve attacked in Amazon

The Tenharim indigenous reserve at Manicore in Brazil's Amazonas state was attacked Dec. 27, with several houses set afire by local farmers and loggers. Townspeople in the region say members of the indigenous group abducted three contractors on Dec. 16. The men were all in employ of business interests seeking to develop the region, including Eletrobrás Amazonas Energia. The popular theory is that the three were seized in retaliation for the death of a Tenharim cacique, or traditional leader, Ivan Tenharim, who was found mortally wounded on a roadside Dec. 3. On Dec. 25, some 3,000 residents rallied in the town of Humaitá to demand that police enter the reserve to hunt for the missing men. The march turned violent, with protesters attacking and torching the local offices of the government's indigenous agency FUNAI, as well as a health clinic established for Tenharim residents, a boat used to ferry the Tenharim from their reserve to the town, and several vehicles. The riot was finally put down when a detachment of some 150 federal police were mobilized to the town. Several Tenharim families sought refuge at the nearby base of the army's 54th Jungle Infantry Battalion, fearing attack. On Dec. 28, Brazil's Justice Ministry ordered a 200-strong special federal police task-force to search the Tenharim reserve. (HispanTV, BBC Mundo, Dec. 29; G1, Brazil, Radio New Zealand, Dec. 28; BBC News, Acritica, Manaus, Lingua Ferina blog, Brazil, Dec. 27; AP, Rondoniagora,