Ailments afflict endangered Nukak-Maku community

Published: Sunday 31 December 2006

Nukaks in unhealthy environs<s (Credit: SURVIVAL) The endangered Nukak-Mak community, one of the last nomadic hunter-gatherer tribes in the world, are now contracting diseases like tuberculosis and chicken pox, which has put their survival at risk. Population of this tribal community is now at 500.

The Nukak people used to live in the depths of the Amazon rainforests in Colombia's Guaviare Department. They remained isolated until 1988, when coca growers, guerrillas and paramilitaries started occupying their territory. Embroiled in Colombia's civil war, a group of 80 Nukak left the jungle in 2006 and sought assimilation.

Now, living in settlements at Puerto Ospina and San Jose del Guaviare, they are succumbing to various diseases. Experts say their survival may not be possible unless they return to their homeland.

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