Police in Brazil have arrested five indigenous tribesmen in the Amazon for the murder of three contractors who have been missing since mid-December. The tribe deny any knowledge of the missing men.
Local groups have accused the tribe of killing the workers in retaliation for the death of an indigenous leader. The incident has led to riots in nearby cities and tension in the area.
The incident kicked off in the beginning of December when indigenous tribe leader Ivan Tenharim was run over by a car in their reserve. Other tribe leaders accused townspeople of murdering him. This was thought to be in retaliation for the tribes practice of setting up road blocks and trying to charge people for stepping on their land.
On 16th of December, the three contractors disappeared in the area of where the tribe resided. The three men were last seen on a road that crossed the reserve. The men worked for government-owned electricity company, Eletrobas. Nine days later, the local townsmen attacked government buildings and set alight cars, while demanding action and justice. Hundreds of tribe members then sought refuge with the local military.
On December 28th, more than 200 police were deployed to the tribe reserve to begin a search for the missing men. Reassured by police presence, the tribe returned to the reserve, but Feds arrived and arressted five men this morning for the contractors' murder.
Clashes are frequent between the tribes and townspeople over logging and land rights.
The hunt continues for the missing contractors.
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