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Brazil’s Indians Fight Back Against Wildcat Miners

Munduruku Indian warriors stand guard over an illegal gold miner who was detained by a group of warriors searching out illegal gold mines and miners in their territory near the Caburua river, a tributary of the Tapajos and Amazon rivers in western Para state January 20, 2014. The Munduruku tribe has seen their land encroached on by wildcat miners in search of gold, and the tribe's leaders travelled to the capital Brasilia last year to demand the federal government remove non-indigenous miners from their territory. Rather than wait for a court decision to start the process - which could take years - the Munduruku decided to take matters into their own hands and expel the wildcat miners. LUNAE PARRACHO / Reuters

Tensions over forest and mineral resources are brewing in Brazil's remote Amazon, and one tribe has decided to take matters into its own hands.

Reuters photographer Lunae Parracho accompanied a group of Indian warriors last month as they went in search of illegal gold miners in their territory in western Para state.

The Munduruku tribe has seen its land encroached on by wildcat miners in search of gold, and the tribe's leaders travelled to the capital Brasilia last year to demand the federal government remove non-indigenous miners from their territory.

Rather than wait for a court decision to start the process — which could take years — the Munduruku decided to take action themselves and expel the miners.

A group of 70 Munduruku dismantled a wildcat mine after sneaking up on boats when Reuters visited them in mid-January. Armed with bows and arrows, they outnumbered the miners and were able to take over without anyone being hurt — this time.

Image: Munduruku Indian warriors navigate the Das Tropas river as they search for illegal gold mines and miners in their territory in western Para state
Munduruku Indian warriors navigate the Das Tropas river, a tributary of the Tapajos and Amazon rivers, as they search for illegal gold mines and miners in their territory in western Para state. LUNAE PARRACHO / Reuters
Image: Munduruku Indian warriors search for illegal gold mines and miners in their territory near the Das Tropas river in western Para state
Munduruku Indian warriors search for illegal gold mines and miners in their territory. LUNAE PARRACHO / Reuters
Image: Munduruku Indian warriors inspect a wildcat gold mine as they search for illegal gold mines and miners in western Para state
Munduruku Indian warriors inspect a wildcat gold mine. LUNAE PARRACHO / Reuters

Editor's note: Images taken in January 2014 and made available to NBC News today.