"It's politically convenient for (the Indian agency) to declare a massacre," said John Boyle, a British expatriate who lost his gold mining operation in the Yanomami reservation.
Roraima Gov. Ottomar Pinto, a retired air force officer, said the massacre reports are politically motivated.
Even some Yanomami supporters are skeptical about massacre reports, noting that fatal clashes between the Indians and outsiders have been rare. A physician who works with the Indians said they often exaggerate about their fights with neighboring clans.
"They tell about heads chopped off, deaths," the doctor said. "When we go there, it is nothing serious. They exaggerate a lot."
As their political clamor continued to grow late last week, investigators pledged to intensify their work.
But Congressman Luciano Pizzato, who made a fact-finding trip to the Yanomami reservation last week, said he and his colleagues could not find facts clear enough to help them reach a conclusion on whether there really was a massacre. "We can't say there was, nor can we say there was not," Pizzato said. "Our position obviously is one of caution."