The Caiapó tribe claim that their land was made unusable as a result of a mid-air collision that happened above their reserve more than a decade ago.
Brazilian low-cost carrier Gol has said that it will compensate one of the country’s indigenous tribes for damages caused by a mid-air collision above the group’s land back in 2006. The incident occurred when one of the airline’s planes, a Boeing 737-8EH craft, collided with an Embraer Legacy 600 private jet over the state of Mato Grosso in western Brazil over a decade ago.
While the latter craft was able to land safely at a nearby airport, the BBC reports that all 154 passengers onboard the Gol flight were killed. The debris from the incident fell directly onto the reserve of the Caiapó tribe.
Members of this indigenous tribe claimed that this portion of their reserve was unusable as a consequence of the crash and have said that the area “is now polluted and cursed with the presence of the dead.”
The outlet reports that a chief of the Caiapó tribe also told Brazil’s Globo TV that a number of dwellings as well as a health center provided by FUNAI, the country’s agency for indigenous groups, had to be moved to another location in the reserve due to the crash. According to the BBC, Globo also reported that the Caiapó approached FUNAI for assistance with their claim two years ago.
In an agreement which was settled out of court between members of the tribe and the airline, Gol has said that it would pay the Caiapó $1.3 million in restitution. With regards to the cause of the head-on collision between the two planes, an investigation by the Brazilian government found that errors made by both the country’s air traffic control as well as the two pilot’s of the private jet led to the fatal crash.