I was shocked to discover that there are a number of uncontacted tribes in South America, in fact, 15 uncontacted tribes are documented in remote areas of the Peruvian Amazonion Rainforest.
Many, in fact, possibly all of the "uncontacted" tribes have had contact at some point in their history with missionaries, loggers, developers, other more modernized tribes, etc., but have voluntarily chosen to withdraw and avoid contact at all costs, which makes sense in a way when one considers that usually roughly 50% of the tribe members die after first contact due to diseases or violence.
The Isconahua tribe was first contacted by missionaries in 1959, who encountered 25 Isconahuas living near the Brazilian border and lived with them for a year doing ethnographic research. They documented that the tribe lived in the nude, adorning themselves primarily with jewelry and piercings. A study in 1995 located 80 Isconhuas still living in seclusion, and in 1998 the Peruvian government created the Isconahua Territorial Reserve, consisting of 275,665 hectares (about 1,000 sq. miles). However, anthropologists failed in making contact in 2004 and 2005, concluding that the Isconahuas fled to the Brazilian side of the border to avoid illegal miners and loggers who had trespassed into the reserve. To make matters worse, the reserve was sold to Pacific Rubialas Energy, giving foreign oil companies the ability to drill in the reserve.
In 2007, remarkable photographs were captured of the Mascho-Piro tribe, while a reconnaissance team was scouting the Alto Purus National Park for illegal loggers. 21 uncontacted naked natives were spotted on the river bank, as well as 5 recently construction palm leaf shelters. Previous knowledge of this tribe was obtained when 100 members of the Mascho-Piro attacked members of nearby "contacted" tribes, who reported the incident.
Although there are international and Peruvian laws in place to protect the natives, their existence is still endangered by illegal logging and oil-mining operations. It is devastating to think that the few remaining relatively untouched tribal groups are endangered by the greed of others. I hope Peru's laws are more strictly enforced and that these indigenous people's rights to live life in the manner they wish, free from the threat of outside diseases and violence, is upheld.