February 10, 2009 / 9:36 PM / 11 years ago

Brazil Indians suspected of cannibalism: police

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Police in Brazil’s Amazon rain forest are investigating three native Indians suspected of murdering and eating a 21-year-old handicapped man in a rare case of cannibalism, local authorities said on Tuesday.

The Indians of the Kulina tribe near the Peruvian border are accused of having killed and eaten the insides of Ocelio Alves de Carvalho, a 21 year-old student in the town of Envira in Amazonas state.

“The body was quartered and then carved up with more than 100 cuts — we think they ate his insides,” Sgt. Osmildo Fereira da Silva of the state police in Envira told Reuters.

The three Indians apparently boasted of eating Carvalho’s heart and liver to relatives in a reservation called Aldeia do Cacau, Fereira said.

Police interrogated a suspect but did not arrest anybody, Fereira said.

The Kulina do not practice cannibalism and police suspect the three Indians were drunk or took drugs.

“Alcoholism is widespread among Indians throughout the region,” said Inspector Pablo Souza, with the Federal Police in the state capital Manaus.

“This is not usual in the region, it seems like an isolated case of homicide,” he said.

There are nearly 1 million native Indians in Brazil, whose lands make up 12 percent of the country’s vast territory.

While some live on large reservations in the rain forest, many are cramped in ghetto-like reservations in Mato Grosso do Sul state, which borders Bolivia and Paraguay.

Reporting by Raymond Colitt; editing by Stuart Grudgings and Vicki Allen

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