Be informed. Be challenged. Be inspired.

Killings of South American Indians reported

ASSIST News Service

Dr Dale W Kietzman, an expert on the Indian tribes of South America, has reported the tragic killings of some Christian Indians in Ecuador and Brazil.

Dr Kietzman, who was formerly the US Director of Wycliffe Bible Translators and is now co-founder and director of Development for Latin American Indian Ministries, has told the ASSIST News Service that the first killings was that of two Waorani (Auca) Indians in Ecuador.

“This happened March 5; the news took a while to get to us,” he said. “The Waorani (Auca) Indians, Ompore Omeway and his wife Buganei Cayga, were killed by suspected members of the Taromenane, a group of uncontacted Waorani-related Indians.

“Now there are unconfirmed reports of attacks against the Taromenane, in which an unknown number are believed to have died. It is unclear who is responsible for these latest killings, but this violence is caused by the threats to the uncontacted Indians posed by loggers coming into the area from Peru, and the cutting of survey roads by oil companies operating in Ecuador. And the Indians will not even benefit from the oil royalties.”

In 1956 the Aucas, whose name means “naked savage” and was ascribed to them by the Quichuas, another indigenous group who greatly feared them, made headlines throughout the world as the news was received that they had attacked and killed Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Pete Fleming, Ed McCully, and Roger Youderian; five missionaries who tried to reach them with the Gospel.

After the death of these brave men, Elisabeth Elliot, Jim”s wife, wrote the classic book about their story called Through Gates of Splendor, and Rachel Saint, Nate”s sister, peacefully entered an Auca village and began a successful ministry among them.

It was during this time that the tribe revealed that they called themselves Waorani, and this work was continued by Steve Saint, Nate”s son.

A film called End of the Spear was also made in which Steve Saint described how his family forgave and reconciled with “Mincaye” and other tribe members, who had killed the four missionaries and his father. Today, the perpetrator and victim”s families are so close that Saint lovingly refers to the now elderly man as “grandfather.”

Dr Kietzman, also a founding board member of ASSIST Ministries, went on to say, “In Brazil, a Terena Indian man, was killed because he was trying to live on his traditional land, but it had been claimed by a rancher who now holds title to that land. This is an all too often repeated scenario, as Indians who have no understanding of modern law, and never thought of getting a deed to their property, are forced off their traditional lands and violence ensues.

“We are holding our breath because the government of Brazil has authorized the building of two large dams, one on the Xingu River (at least ten tribes affected), and the other on the Tapajoz (a problem principally for the Munduruku Indians).

“This will create enormous lakes covering dozens of Indian villages and disrupting their way of life. We know of no missionaries there to help smooth the transition. Pray!”

Dr Kietzman concluded by saying, “Thanks for standing with us as we try to help these Indian people, especially as the believers among them are working so hard to evangelize their own people.”




sight plus logo

Sight+ is a new benefits program we’ve launched to reward people who have supported us with annual donations of $26 or more. To find out more about Sight+ and how you can support the work of Sight, head to our Sight+ page.



We’re interested to find out more about you, our readers, as we improve and expand our coverage and so we’re asking all of our readers to take this survey (it’ll only take a couple of minutes).

To take part in the survey, simply follow this link…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

For security, use of Google's reCAPTCHA service is required which is subject to the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.