American Missionary Accused of Exposing Isolated Brazilian Tribe to Fatal Diseases

Brazil has angrily accused an American missionary of exposing an isolated indigenous tribe to potentially fatal diseases. Steve Campbell, a Christian missionary, is believed to have approached the Hi-Merimã tribe last month. The tribe has had no contact with the outside world. “It’s a case of rights violation and exposure to risk of death to isolated indigenous population,” a spokesman for Brazil’s indigenous affairs department said in a statement. “Even if direct contact has not occurred, the probability of transmission of diseases to the isolated is high.” Campbell is believed to have camped in the area that the Hi-Merimã tribe occupies and entered one of the its recently abandoned camping grounds. There have been fears that missionaries might try to contact isolated tribes in Brazil after the country’s new right-wing president, Jair Bolsonaro, appointed an evangelical preacher as the new minister in charge of indigenous affairs.