The eight-year-old girl was tied to a  tree and burned to death, according to reports. She was from the Gwaja-Awa tribe, which lives in isolation in the Amazon rainforest.

Backing up the story,  the Indigenous Missionary Council (CIMI), a Catholic group which works to protect tribal people, said it had seen footage of her burned remains. A spokesperson for the group said:

“We are seeking more information before we pass the case on to the Federal Police. But according to the evidence we already possess, a child has been burned alive by loggers who were illegally trespassing on an Indian reserve.”

Luis Carlos Guajajaras, a local leader from another tribe, told Brazil’s Terra website that members of his community had witnessed the murder. 

According to Guajajara, the white loggers had been illegally paying Indians from his tribe to let them pull down trees using heavy machinery and chains.

The girl stumbled across them when she wandered away from her family.  

“It happened deep in the forest. The loggers were doing business with the Guajajara Indians and found the Gwaja girl. And they burned the child. Just because they wanted to, out of nothing but pure wickedness.

“She was from another tribe, they live deep in the jungle, and have no contact with the outside world. It would have been the first time she had ever seen white men. We heard that they laughed as they burned her to death.”

A spokesman for Brazil’s Indian Affairs Department said the government was investigating the murder claims.

452 indigenous people were murdered in Brazil between 2003 and 2010, according to figures from CIMI.