News from Survival International News items about tribal peoples from across the world http://www.survivalinternational.org/news.rss Illegal fishermen encroach on world's most isolated tribe Due to their isolation the Sentinelese of India's Andaman Islands are the most vulnerable society on the planet. They face increasing threats from illegal fishermen who are targeting their waters.
Due to their isolation the Sentinelese of India's Andaman Islands are the most vulnerable society on the planet. They face increasing threats from illegal fishermen who are targeting their waters.
© Indian Coastguard/Survival

Survival International, the global movement for tribal peoples’ rights, has received worrying reports that illegal fishermen are targeting the waters around the island home of the uncontacted Sentinelese tribe on India’s Andaman Islands.

Seven men identified as Burmese fishermen were apprehended by the Indian Coast Guard near North Sentinel Island earlier this month. Worryingly, one man was reportedly found on the island itself, in close proximity to the uncontacted tribespeople.

The Sentinelese are the most vulnerable society on the planet and reject any contact with outsiders. Due to their complete isolation, they are likely to have no immunity to common diseases such as flu and measles and the chances of them being wiped out by an epidemic are very high.

Survival International has welcomed the authorities’ swift action in apprehending the illegal fishermen around North Sentinel and urges them to remain vigilant. It also calls for an end to the daily intrusions into the forest of the neighboring Jarawa tribe as a matter of urgency.

The Jarawa, who inhabit islands neighboring the Sentinelese, face daily intrusions into their land by tourists and poachers.
The Jarawa, who inhabit islands neighboring the Sentinelese, face daily intrusions into their land by tourists and poachers.
© Survival

The Jarawa are forced to endure “human safaris” – hundreds of tourists passing through their forest on a daily basis in the hope of spotting a member of the tribe – as well as poachers stealing their game. Earlier this year, it was revealed that Jarawa women are being sexually abused by poachers who lure them with alcohol and marijuana.

Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said today, “The Great Andamanese tribes of India’s Andaman Islands were decimated by disease when the British colonized the islands in the 1800s. The most recent to be pushed into extinction was the Bo tribe, whose last member died only four years ago. The only way the Andamanese authorities can prevent the annihilation of another tribe is to ensure North Sentinel Island is protected from outsiders.”

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Thu, 20 Nov 2014 10:11:57 +0000 http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/10556 http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/10556
Massive illegal forest clearance threatens unique uncontacted tribe Brazilian rancher Marcelo Bastos Ferraz has rejected the Ayoreo's plea to stop destroying the forest inhabited by their uncontacted relatives.
Brazilian rancher Marcelo Bastos Ferraz has rejected the Ayoreo's plea to stop destroying the forest inhabited by their uncontacted relatives.
© OPIT

The last uncontacted Indians outside Amazonia are running out of forest to hide in, say campaigners, as alarming new photos reveal rampant, illegal destruction of their territory.

Ayoreo-Totobiegosode Indians, whose uncontacted relatives are hiding in the last patches of forest in western Paraguay, have watched helplessly as cattle-ranching firms illegally invade their territory and raze the forest.

The Ayoreo have recently discovered miles of cattle fences illegally built in their territory – in Paraguay, this is always the first step to clearing the forest.
The Ayoreo have recently discovered miles of cattle fences illegally built in their territory – in Paraguay, this is always the first step to clearing the forest.
© GAT/ Survival

The Paraguayan government has ignored their pleas to intervene.

Satellite photos show that two firms, Yaguarete Porá S.A. and Itapoti S.A., are defying national and international laws in a race to clear as much forest as possible. Yaguarete is owned by Brazilian rancher Marcelo Bastos Ferraz, who earlier this year rebuffed a Totobiegosode appeal to stop destroying their forest.

Guiejna, an Ayoreo woman, on the day she was first contacted in 2004. Her relatives are still hiding in the forest.
Guiejna, an Ayoreo woman, on the day she was first contacted in 2004. Her relatives are still hiding in the forest.
© GAT

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is investigating the Ayoreo’s plight, and recently met government ministers to question them on why the Totobiegosode’s land claim, submitted in 1993, has still not been resolved.

Western Paraguay, until recently covered in forest, now has the highest deforestation rate in the world.

Survival International Director Stephen Corry said today, “The uncontacted Ayoreo-Totobiegosode face catastrophe unless their land is protected. They are one of the most vulnerable societies on the planet. It’s shameful that the Paraguayan authorities are simply letting these ranchers carry on clearing the forest, knowing that this is the Totobiegosode’s last refuge. Unless public opinion forces them to act, the Indians have no future.”

The Ayoreo have discovered ranch workers illegally camped in their forest as they clear and bulldoze the forest.
The Ayoreo have discovered ranch workers illegally camped in their forest as they clear and bulldoze the forest.
© GAT/ Survival
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Wed, 19 Nov 2014 10:21:00 +0000 http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/10554 http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/10554
New report exposes the 'Dark side of conservation' Tribal peoples are the best conservationists and guardians of the natural world. Survival's new report reveals how the world's biggest conservation organizations are implicated in their eviction from 'protected areas.'
Tribal peoples are the best conservationists and guardians of the natural world. Survival's new report reveals how the world's biggest conservation organizations are implicated in their eviction from 'protected areas.'
© Selcen Kucukustel/Atlas

‘Parks Need Peoples’ campaign launched during World Parks Congress

A hard-hitting new report launched by Survival International – the global movement for tribal peoples’ rights – reveals how conservation has led to the eviction of millions of tribal people from “protected areas.”

Many of the world’s biggest conservation organizations, including WWF and The Nature Conservancy, are implicated in this issue. And United for Wildlife, set up by Prince William and Prince Harry, does not acknowledge calls to back tribal peoples’ rights to live on their traditional lands and hunt for food.

The launch of the “Parks Need Peoples” report coincides with the World Parks Congress in Sydney, a once-in-a-decade global conference on protected areas conservation, and comes ahead of Prince William and Kate’s launch of United for Wildlife in the United States next month.

Survival’s report shows that nearly all protected areas are, or have been, the ancestral homelands of tribal peoples, who have been dependent on, and managed them for millennia. But in the name of “conservation”:

• Tribal peoples are being illegally evicted from these lands.
• They are accused of “poaching” because they hunt their food.
• They face arrest and beatings, torture and death at the hands of anti-poaching squads.
• Although the tribes have been evicted, tourists, and in some cases even fee-paying big-game hunters, are welcomed in.

Botswana's Bushmen have faced arrest, beatings and torture in the name of 'conservation.'
Botswana's Bushmen have faced arrest, beatings and torture in the name of 'conservation.'
© Survival International

The “Parks Need Peoples” report examines current cases of eviction, such as the Baka “Pygmies” in Cameroon; the Bushmen in Botswana; and tribal peoples in India’s tiger reserves. But this model of conservation can be traced back to the creation of Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks in the 19th Century in the United States, which led to the brutal eviction of Native American tribes.

Bushman Dauqoo Xukuri from the Central Kalahari Game Reserve in Botswana said, “I sit and look around the country. Wherever there are Bushmen, there is game. Why? Because we know how to take care of animals.”

The Xingu indigenous park (outlined in pink) is home to several tribes. It provides a vital barrier to deforestation (in red) in the Brazilian Amazon.
The Xingu indigenous park (outlined in pink) is home to several tribes. It provides a vital barrier to deforestation (in red) in the Brazilian Amazon.
© ISA (Instituto Socioambiental)

Survival’s “Parks Need Peoples” report concludes that the current model of conservation needs a radical shake-up. Conservation must stick to international law, protect tribal peoples’ rights to their lands, ask them what help they need in protecting their lands, listen to them, and then be prepared to back them up as much as they can.

Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said today, “Millions are being spent by conservationists every day, yet the environment’s in deepening crisis. It’s time to wake up and realize that there is another way and it’s much, much better. Firstly, tribal peoples’ rights have to be acknowledged and respected. Secondly, they have to be treated as the best experts at defending their own lands. Conservationists must realize it’s they, themselves, who are junior partners.”

Notes to editors:

- Download the “Parks Need Peoples” report (pdf, 700 KB)
- Visit Survival’s “Parks Need Peoples” campaign for more information

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Thu, 13 Nov 2014 10:34:00 +0000 http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/10546 http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/10546
World Responsible Tourism Day: Survival calls for Botswana boycott Protestors handed leaflets to visitors to the World Travel Market in London, calling for a boycott of Botswana tourism until the Bushmen are allowed to live in peace on their land.
Protestors handed leaflets to visitors to the World Travel Market in London, calling for a boycott of Botswana tourism until the Bushmen are allowed to live in peace on their land.
© Sophie Pinchetti/Survival

Supporters of Survival International, the global movement for tribal peoples’ rights, called for a boycott of Botswana tourism at the World Travel Market in London today, over the country’s relentless persecution of Africa’s last hunting Bushmen.

On today’s World Responsible Tourism Day, protestors handed leaflets to visitors to the leading travel industry event, where the Botswana Tourism Organisation is hosting a stall all week. Botswana actively promotes visits to the Bushmen’s ancestral land in the Central Kalahari Game Reserve, while starving the tribespeople off their land by preventing them from hunting.

Earlier this year, the Botswana government imposed a nationwide ban on hunting without consulting the Bushmen. Now they are accused of “poaching” because they hunt their food. And they face arrest and beatings, torture and death, while fee-paying big-game hunters are encouraged to kill giraffes and zebras on private game ranches.

Bushman Roy Sesana said, “President Ian Khama and his brother Tshekedi decided to ban hunting without consulting us. It was a calculated move to starve us out of the Central Kalahari Game Reserve. They know that we are dependent on hunting and they decided to ban hunting in the reserve.”

There is no evidence that the Bushmen's way of hunting is unsustainable.
There is no evidence that the Bushmen's way of hunting is unsustainable.
© Philippe Clotuche/Survival

And while Botswana’s President Ian Khama is praised by international conservation organizations, he has allowed fracking exploration and recently opened a diamond mine on Bushman land.

In a recent interview with The Guardian, President Khama revealed his disdain for the Bushmen. He said the Bushmen lived a “very extinct…very backward form of life,” and claimed they were responsible for “severe loss of wildlife” in the reserve.

There is no evidence that the Bushmen’s hunting methods are unsustainable. On the contrary, a study conducted between 1986 and 1996 found that numbers of some antelope species hunted by the Bushmen actually increased.

Over 8,000 people have pledged not to visit Botswana until the Bushmen are allowed to live freely on their land, and several tour companies have joined the boycott.

Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said today, “Tribal peoples are portrayed as backward and primitive simply because their communal ways are different. It’s a way of justifying the theft of their land and resources in the name of ‘progress’ and ‘civilization’. President Khama’s comments are nothing new – they reflect a level of prejudice and racism that was typical of the colonial era and which should have long since been consigned to the history books.”

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Wed, 05 Nov 2014 12:44:42 +0000 http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/10537 http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/10537
Brazil: Guarani 'despair' as female leader murdered Guarani leader Marinalva Manoel was stabbed to death after campaigning for her tribe's ancestral land.
Guarani leader Marinalva Manoel was stabbed to death after campaigning for her tribe's ancestral land.
© Aty Guasu

An indigenous leader has been killed in central-western Brazil, after campaigning for her tribe’s ancestral land to be returned.

Marinalva Manoel, a 27-year-old Guarani Indian, was allegedly raped and stabbed to death. Her body was found on the side of a highway on Saturday.

Last month Marinalva traveled over 1,000 km to the capital, Brasília, with a delegation of Guarani leaders, to insist that the authorities fulfil their legal duty to return the land to the Guarani before more of their people are killed.

The Guarani Council, Aty Guasu, which voices the Indians’ demands, has released a letter calling on the authorities to investigate the murder, and proclaiming, “No more Guarani deaths!”

Guarani leader Marinalva Manoel's body was found on the side of a highway.
Guarani leader Marinalva Manoel's body was found on the side of a highway.
© Osvaldo Duarte/Dourados News

Guarani leaders are frequently attacked and killed by gunmen employed by the ranchers who are occupying indigenous land and earning huge profits from sugar cane, soya and cattle whilst the Guarani are squeezed into reserves and roadside camps.

Suffering alarming rates of malnutrition, violence and suicide, the Guarani sometimes decide to reoccupy small patches of their ancestral land stolen from them decades ago, without which they cannot survive. Seven communities which recently carried out land reoccupations, including Marinalva’s community, now face eviction orders which could force them off their land yet again.

Guarani leader Eliseu Lopes told Survival, “We are fighting for our land, and we are being killed, one by one. They want to get rid of us altogether… We are in a state of despair, but we will not give up.”

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Tue, 04 Nov 2014 11:30:00 +0000 http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/10531 http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/10531
Photographer Jimmy Nelson's work attacked before opening in Brussels Photographer Jimmy Nelson's controversial work 'Before They Pass Away' has been attacked by tribal peoples around the world.
Photographer Jimmy Nelson's controversial work 'Before They Pass Away' has been attacked by tribal peoples around the world.
© Jimmy Nelson/teNeues

The controversial work of photographer Jimmy Nelson will open at the Young Gallery in Brussels on November 7, amidst protests from indigenous people around the world and organizations such as Survival International, the global movement for tribal peoples’ rights, for portraying a false and damaging picture of tribal people.

Nixiwaka Yawanawá from Acre state in Brazil recently protested outside Nelson’s exhibition in London. He said, “As a tribal person I feel offended by Jimmy Nelson’s work ’Before They Pass Away’. It’s outrageous! We are not passing away but struggling to survive. Industrialized society is trying to destroy us in the name of ‘progress’, but we will keep defending our lands and contributing to the protection of the planet.”

While Nelson claims his work is “ethnographic fact”, Survival Director Stephen Corry denounces it as a photographer’s fantasy which bears little relationship either to how the people pictured look now, or how they ever appeared.

Nelson portrays Waorani girls unclothed with a 'fig' leaf.
Nelson portrays Waorani girls unclothed with a 'fig' leaf.
© Jimmy Nelson/teNeues

The photos of Waorani girls from Ecuador, for example, portray them shorn of the clothes that contacted Waorani routinely wear, and wearing “fig” leaves to protect their modesty, which they have never done (previous generations of Waorani women wore a simple waist string).

Nelson’s subjects are supposed to be “passing away”, but no mention is made of the genocidal violence they are being subjected to.

The Dani of West Papua are wrongly called the “the most dreaded head-hunting tribe of Papua”, but no mention is made of the killings, torture and intimidation they have suffered under the Indonesian occupation since 1963.

Papuan tribal leader Benny Wenda said, “What Jimmy Nelson says about us is not true. My people, the Dani people, were never headhunters, it was never our tradition. The real headhunters are the Indonesian military who have been killing my people. My people are still strong and we fight for our freedom. We are not ‘passing away’, we are being killed by the brutal Indonesian soldiers. That is the truth.”

Nelson’s work has also received fierce criticism from tribal peoples in North America and New Zealand. A Maori blogger wrote, "Maori people are not part of a dying breed and we don’t need to be portrayed as such, for a book,” and Cowlitz Indian Elissa Washuta wrote in Salon magazine, “Nelson’s mission is built on a horrifying assumption: that these indigenous peoples are on the brink of destruction. He couldn’t be more wrong.”

Nixiwaka Yawanawá protested against the 'outrageous' exhibition of Jimmy Nelson's work at London's Atlas Gallery, wearing his ceremonial headdress.
Nixiwaka Yawanawá protested against the 'outrageous' exhibition of Jimmy Nelson's work at London's Atlas Gallery, wearing his ceremonial headdress.
© Sophie Pinchetti/Survival

Davi Kopenawa, spokesman of the Yanomami tribe in Brazil and known as the “Dalai Lama of the Rainforest”, said during his recent visit to London, “I saw the photos and I didn’t like them. This man only wants to force his own ideas on the photos, to publish them in books and to show them to everyone so that people will think he’s a great photographer. Just like (Napoleon) Chagnon, he does whatever he wants with indigenous peoples. It is not true that indigenous peoples are about to die out. We will be around for a long time, fighting for our land, living in this world and continuing to create our children.”

Notes to Editors:

- Read Survival Director Stephen Corry’s full exposé of Jimmy Nelson’s work in US journal Truthout

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Tue, 28 Oct 2014 10:16:00 +0000 http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/10524 http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/10524
Tribes and farmers unite to end oil palm expansion in Philippines Palawan tribal people say that their coconut trees are dying because of pests spreading from the oil palm plantations.
Palawan tribal people say that their coconut trees are dying because of pests spreading from the oil palm plantations.
© ALDAW

Tribal people and small-scale farmers in the Philippine province of Palawan have called for a halt to the expansion of oil palm plantations which are destroying the forests they rely on to survive.

Their newly formed Coalition against Land Grabbing (CALG) collected over 4,000 signatures from tribal people and farmers affected by the plantations, calling for a moratorium on oil palm expansion.

Palawan, which is often referred to as “the Philippines’ last ecological frontier”, is a biosphere reserve and home to tribal peoples such as the Palawan, Batak and Tagbanua, who rely on their forests for food, medicines and for building their houses.

Yet there are plans to convert up to 20,000 hectares – an area the size of Washington DC – into oil palm plantations, which will forever destroy the forests the tribes rely on. Oil palm is used for biofuel and is found in many foods and cosmetics.

Oil palm plantations are devastating for tribal communities who rely on their forests to survive.
Oil palm plantations are devastating for tribal communities who rely on their forests to survive.
© ALDAW

“To find medicinal plants we must walk more than half day to reach the other side of the mountain range,” said a tribal Palawan man. “Because of the far distance we must leave our young children at home, so they do not learn the name and uses of these plants. The old knowledge is being lost.”

The plantations have brought hardship to the local communities. Rates of poverty and malnutrition are rising fastest in the area with the largest amount of land converted to oil palm production. Indigenous community organiser, John Mart Salunday called the oil palm project a complete "fiasco” in terms of poverty eradication.

Survival International, the global movement for tribal peoples’ rights, supports the demand for a moratorium on oil palm plantations in Palawan and is calling on the Philippine government to ensure that the Palawan tribes’ free, prior and informed consent is sought before any activities take place on their land – as enshrined in international law.

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Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:09:00 +0100 http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/10514 http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/10514
Eden Project photo exhibition showcases tribal people of the rainforest Sebastião Salgado's stunning images of the Awá tribe in Brazil's Amazon rainforest, taken in 2013, will be showcased in the Rainforest Biome of the Eden Project in Cornwall, UK. The Awá are finding it increasingly difficult to hunt game in the forest, and have been brutally attacked by loggers while out hunting.
Sebastião Salgado's stunning images of the Awá tribe in Brazil's Amazon rainforest, taken in 2013, will be showcased in the Rainforest Biome of the Eden Project in Cornwall, UK. The Awá are finding it increasingly difficult to hunt game in the forest, and have been brutally attacked by loggers while out hunting.
© Sebastião Salgado/Amazonas/nbpictures

Stunning photographs of tribal people of the rainforest by Cornish explorer and writer Robin Hanbury-Tenison and world-renowned Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado will go on display at the UK’s Eden Project from Friday, October 24, 2014.

The exhibition – called “People of the Rainforest” – will be on display in Eden’s Rainforest Biome. The images were taken in the Amazon rainforest, Sumatra, Borneo and Malaysia, and will be installed in the corresponding areas of the Biome.

The pictures have been specially selected to remind visitors to Eden that an estimated 200 million indigenous people around the world depend on forests for their home and livelihood.

The exhibition was prompted by a letter from Eden Project co-founder Sir Tim Smit to Robin Hanbury-Tenison suggesting that the themes of people and forests were drawn together at Eden.

Eden has worked with Survival International, the global movement for tribal peoples’ rights, to bring the exhibition to Cornwall. Survival International was founded 45 years ago by a group of people, including Robin Hanbury-Tenison, who were appalled by the genocide of Amazon Indians in Brazil.

A nomadic Penan hunter-gatherer in Sarawak, Malaysia, using a blowpipe (1976). His loincloth is made from a long strip of soft, beaten bark, and around his waist is everything he needs in the forest: a sharp parang in its wooden sheath and a small container to hold spare poison darts.
A nomadic Penan hunter-gatherer in Sarawak, Malaysia, using a blowpipe (1976). His loincloth is made from a long strip of soft, beaten bark, and around his waist is everything he needs in the forest: a sharp parang in its wooden sheath and a small container to hold spare poison darts.
© Robin Hanbury-Tenison

Mr Hanbury-Tenison said: “Tribal people are the best guardians of the environment. This is one of Survival’s main messages, because so many of the issues facing tribal people revolve around land rights.

“By including images of tribal people within the rich and beautiful habitats of the tropical Biome at Eden, we should be able to get across this essential message, and spread the word that people and plants need each other ."

Dr Jo Elworthy, Director of Interpretation at the Eden Project, said: “These thought-provoking images will animate Eden’s Rainforest Biome in a powerful way. Eden is a living theatre of plants and people. We are well-known for our plants and this provides the opportunity to bring the vital stories of rainforest tribal peoples into the picture.”

Notes to editors:

- The photographs are incorporated into the foliage of the Rainforest Biome.

- To use or view the images contact Ghislain Pascal by email; or on +44(0)2076878700/ +44(0)7778 788 735

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Wed, 22 Oct 2014 10:15:00 +0100 http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/10512 http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/10512
Tragedy strikes Colombia’s Sierra Nevada Indians Arhuaco Indians, Colombia
Arhuaco Indians, Colombia
© Survival International

A series of tragic events has hit Colombia’s Arhuaco, Kogi and Wiwa tribes in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta region of northern Colombia.

On 6 October eleven Wiwa Indians were killed after a lighting bolt struck a communal building where sixty of the tribe’s leaders were meeting.

Amongst the dead were “mamos” or spiritual leaders, and health experts.

The following day, five Arhuaco children and the mother of one of the children were killed by a landslide that destroyed their home.

On 14 October, Jacinto Sauna Zarabata, the son of the Kogi tribe’s leader was shot dead. Jacinto was at home with his partner when he was killed.

Jacinto’s father, José de los Santos Sauna, told press he had received death threats in the past, but the motive of his son’s death remains unknown.

In a statement, Sierra Nevada Indian organization Gonawindúa Tayrona said, “We hope that the perpetrators of this crime are brought to justice, and not forgotten like so many others, such as the murders of our leaders Napoleón Torres, Ángel María Torres and Hugues Chaparro, killed 22 years ago, or the attempted murder of Arhuaco leader Rogelio Mejía Izquierdo two years ago.”

“When they found him, he was dead.”Dilia’s husband was murdered and tortured more than 22 years ago. His killers still evade justice.

The Sierra Nevada Indians believe it is their responsibility to maintain the balance of the universe, and that natural disasters are a consequence of human failure to keep that balance.

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Mon, 20 Oct 2014 13:52:00 +0100 http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/10509 http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/10509
Survival calls for release of tribal political prisoners and journalists in West Papua Papuan tribal people have suffered immensely from Indonesian military brutality since 1963.
Papuan tribal people have suffered immensely from Indonesian military brutality since 1963.
© Survival

French journalists Thomas Dandois and Valentine Bourrat face trial by the Indonesian authorities in West Papua on October 20, 2014, on charges of “abusive use of entry visas”, after being arrested while making a documentary film in August.

Dandois and Bourrat were arrested after meeting with Areki Wanimbo, the head of the Lani Besar Tribal Council in the Papuan highlands, who has also been detained.

Wanimbo is now facing charges of “conspiracy to commit treason”, a charge that is applied to a wide variety of “offences” including peaceful political activities and possession of flags.

The journalists could face up to five years in prison and a fine of 500 million Rupiah ($41,000).

Survival International, the global movement for tribal peoples’ rights, calls for the release of the two journalists, and for an end to restrictions on foreign media in West Papua. Survival also highlights the plight of Papuan tribal people who have suffered immensely under a brutal Indonesian occupation since 1963. Many have been jailed for peacefully expressing their views.

According to Papuans Behind Bars, at least 74 Papuan political prisoners were being held in Indonesia in September 2014. Many have suffered arbitrary arrest, torture, violence, abuse, unfair trials and neglect. Survival is calling for their unconditional release.

Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said today, “Indonesia’s treatment of Papua’s tribal people is one of the most urgent and horrific humanitarian crises of our time. Indonesia’s new President must put an end to the killings, torture and arbitrary arrests and release those arrested for peacefully expressing their political views.”

Note to editors:

- Survival wrote to the new Indonesian President Joko Widodo on September 29, 2014, regarding the oppression of Papuans. Download the letter to President Widodo (known as “Jokowi”) (pdf, 655 kB)

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Fri, 17 Oct 2014 15:06:00 +0100 http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/10503 http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/10503
"We'll die for our lands", Guarani Indians declare in Brazil's capital Forty Guarani leaders traveled over 1,000 km to Brasília to insist that the authorities map out their ancestral land.
Forty Guarani leaders traveled over 1,000 km to Brasília to insist that the authorities map out their ancestral land.
© CIMI

Forty Guarani Indian leaders have traveled over 1,000 km to Brazil’s capital to insist that the authorities map out their ancestral land before more of their relatives are killed.

The delegation expressed its dismay at a recent High Court ruling which, if upheld, will be a huge setback for the land campaign of one community whose internationally renowned leader, Ambrósio Vilhalva, was killed last year.

In response to the government’s failure to fulfil its legal duty to map out the Guarani’s lands for their use, the leaders declared “We can’t wait any more for the government to keep its promise… We will resist, and we’ll die for our lands.”

This resistance takes the form of land reoccupations, which often result in violence but which the Guarani see as the only way to return to their land. One community, Kurussu Mba, has been attacked by gunmen three times since it reoccupied part of its land last month and the Indians now face a court order threatening to evict them imminently.

Guarani leader Eliseu Lopes visited Europe last month, to seek international support for his people.
Guarani leader Eliseu Lopes visited Europe last month, to seek international support for his people.
© Fabio Artese/Survival

Thousands of Guarani in central-western Brazil are living in overcrowded reserves and perilous roadside camps, where they are attacked, killed and forced to endure malnutrition and one of the highest suicide rates in the world.

Meanwhile, ranchers earn huge profits from the sugar cane, soya and cattle on their ranches which occupy the Guarani’s ancestral homeland, and frequently send gunmen to attack the Indians.

Guarani leader Eliseu Lopes visited Europe for the first time last month, to seek international support for his people and their plight. He told Survival Italy, “For us, land is life, land is everything, but all our land has been destroyed… the government is not mapping out our lands, so we are taking matters into our own hands”.

Read the Guarani’s latest declaration and a letter from Kurussu Mba community, and support Survival’s Guarani campaign.

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Wed, 15 Oct 2014 15:46:00 +0100 http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/10496 http://www.survivalinternational.org/news/10496
India: Tiger Reserve tribe faces eviction  The Khadia were evicted from Similipal Tiger Reserve in December 2013, and have been living in miserable conditions under plastic sheets.
The Khadia were evicted from Similipal Tiger Reserve in December 2013, and have been living in miserable conditions under plastic sheets.
© Survival International

Tribespeople living inside a tiger reserve in India are being “threatened” and “cheated” into leaving their ancestral land in the name of tiger “conservation” – even though there is no evidence that they harm the wildlife, and they desperately want to stay on their land.

In September 2014, members of the Munda tribe in Similipal Tiger Reserve in Odisha state met with India’s Forest Department, after promises that their rights to their forest would be recognized.

But the villagers reported to Survival International, the global movement for tribal peoples’ rights, that they felt “threatened” and “cheated” into signing an eviction document drawn up by the foresters. They reported that they weren’t aware of what the document said (most don’t read or write Oriya, the language it was written in), and were only later told that there was no land available for them to be moved to.

Tribal peoples are the best conservationists. Yet they are being illegally evicted from their ancestral homelands in the name of tiger 'conservation'.
Tribal peoples are the best conservationists. Yet they are being illegally evicted from their ancestral homelands in the name of tiger 'conservation'.
© Sandip Dey

A Munda man said, “We were cheated [into signing this paper] and are now very afraid of the consequences.”

Another, Telenga Hassa, said, “We would rather die than leave the village. The forest department is pressurising us to go – they are giving a lot of threats to us, saying things like, ‘If you try to stay we will lodge many police cases against you, we will say that you are Maoists and we’ll arrest you.’”

Tribal peoples are better at looking after their environments than anyone else, and India’s Forest Rights Act recognizes their right to live in and from the forests, and to manage and protect them.

But across India, tribal peoples are being illegally evicted from their ancestral homelands in the name of conservation, particularly for tiger reserves. In addition to threats and harassment, they’re promised land, housing and money as compensation, but often receive little or nothing.

Telenga Hassa's community in Similipal Tiger Reserve is being 'threatened' and 'cheated' into leaving their home.
Telenga Hassa's community in Similipal Tiger Reserve is being 'threatened' and 'cheated' into leaving their home.
© Survival International

Only three villages of the Kol and Munda tribes remain inside Similipal Tiger Reserve. Thirty-two families of the Khadia tribe were evicted and moved to a resettlement village outside of the forest in December 2013. Without access to the forest’s produce, and no adequate housing, they have been forced to live in miserable conditions under plastic sheets, and rely on government handouts for their survival.

Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said today, “Many of the forests where tigers survive in India have been cared for by tribal people, who are better at looking after their environment than anyone else. But now the government is using threats and tricks to force the tribespeople out in the name of conservation, and leaving them in squalor. What’s worse, the tribes’ forests are opened up to thousands of tourists each year, and poaching and illegal logging are rampant. It’s time the conservation industry spoke out against this injustice.”

Note to editors:

- In May 2014, Survival submitted a complaint to the Odisha Human Rights Commission. They did not respond, so Survival sent another urgent and updated complaint in October. Download it here (PDF, 119 kB)

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