Sat photos show doubling destruction of uncontacted tribe’s land 20 October 2008

Satellite photos taken just a few days ago reveal how hundreds of hectares of forest belonging to Paraguay's last uncontacted Indians have been devastated in the last thirty days alone.

The photos show how a Brazilian company, Yaguarete Pora S.A., has destroyed a brand new patch of forest belonging to the Indians, called the Ayoreo-Totobiegosode, the last uncontacted people in South America outside the Amazon. Photos taken last month did not detect such activity.

The devastation of the Totobiegosode's forest is rapidly accelerating. The amount of land cleared is now more than double what it was in May this year, when earlier satellite photos were taken. It is being destroyed by Yaguarete Pora S.A. and another Brazilian company, River Plate S.A., mainly to graze cattle for beef.

The photos have caused outrage in Paraguay and led to a mass Indian plea to Paraguay's new president, the ex-bishop Fernando Lugo. In a statement to Lugo, the destruction of the Totobiegosode's land was denounced as a 'violation of (the Indians') cultural, environmental and territorial rights.'

The Totobiegosode live in sub-tropical forest known as 'the Chaco'. The number of uncontacted Indians, who are exceedingly vulnerable to any form of contact with outsiders, is not known.

Survival's director, Stephen Corry, said today, 'Just look at the sat photos! It's impossible not to see what is going on there – the flagrant destruction of the Totobiegosode's home, right 'before our eyes'. How can president Lugo ignore this?'

View satellite photos taken from May to October this year


Survival researcher Jonathan Mazower, who has met some of the contacted Totobiegosode, is available for interview.

ENDS

For more information please contact Miriam Ross at Survival International (44) (0)20 7687 8734 or (44) (0)7504 543 367 or email mr@survival-international.org

 

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Act now to help the Ayoreo

  • Write a letter or email to Grupo San Jose asking it to hand back the Ayoreo’s land to its rightful owners.
  • Write a letter or email to the government of Paraguay asking it to demarcate the Ayoreo’s land in line with the country’s laws and treaties.
  • Donate to the Ayoreo campaign (and other Survival campaigns).

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