Americas

A tribe in Brazil struggles at the intersection of drugs and cultures

While seemingly tranquil, the Brazilian Amazon's Tabatinga area has become a magnet for drug traffickers who roam the nearby borders with Colombia and Peru. Some Indians are accepting cash to work as drug mules, using their knowledge of the rivers and dense rain forest to transport cocaine into Brazil’s growing market, local officials say. And a growing number of young Tikunas tribe members are succumbing to drug and alcohol abuse, which Indian leaders blame for some 30 adolescent suicides over the past five years.

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