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In the Amazon, indigenous debate how to save their lands

TEKOHAW, Brazil — Warriors wielding bows and arrows, elderly chieftains in face paint and nursing mothers gathered recently in a Brazilian village to debate a plan that some hope will hold at bay the loggers and other invaders threatening the nine tribes of the Tembe.

The sustainable development plan is meant to help the Tembe profit from the Amazon forest without ruining it. They also want to keep outsiders away from their 1,080-square-mile (2,766-square-kilometer) Alto Rio Guama homeland that is officially protected but in practice under siege.

Recent clashes saw the Tembe burning the trucks and equipment of illegal loggers on their territory, which is in a Brazilian state plagued by thousands of fires burning on cleared Amazon jungle lands.

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