Airline Agrees to Pay for Land it Caused to Become Polluted and Cursed

Raoni Metuktire, left, chief of 8,600 member Caiapo tribe in Brazil, that received compensation for cursed land

Raoni Metuktire, left, chief of 8,600 member Caiapo tribe in Brazil, that received compensation from airline that cursed tribal land.

Gol, the second largest Brazilian airline, has agreed to pay over $1 million to an indigenous tribe whose land was cursed when one of Gol’s airplanes crashed there over 10 years ago.

In September, 2006, a plane from the airline collided with a private jet in mid-air over the Amazon forest. All 154 people on board the plane died when it crashed over the area where the tribe lives. The tribe refuses to return to the area where the wreckage fell, saying the area is a “house of the spirits,” and is cursed with the presence of the dead. They say the soil and air are polluted. Several dwellings in the area and a health center were abandoned and rebuilt elsewhere on the reserve.

An investigation conducted shortly after the accident concluded that there were errors by air traffic control in Brazil and the two pilots in the private jet.

In 2015, the tribal leaders contacted FUNAI for assistance in asking the airline for compensation. FUNAI is an agency that helps people who have little contact with society or other tribes. Recently, an out-of-court settlement was reached with the airline. It gives the tribe $1.3 million as compensation for the damage caused by the 2006 plane crash.

The compensation funds will be paid to a foundation set up by the tribal chief and managed under the watch of   FUNAI and Brazil’s Attorney General’s Office.

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