|Four Ayoreo-Totobiegosode men make first contact with the outside world in 2004. |
© GAT / Survival
A man belonging to the only uncontacted tribe in South America outside the Amazon basin has been sighted near a region targeted for deforestation by Brazilian cattle-ranchers.
When spotted, the man hid behind a tree, and later fled. The next day an abandoned camp, a clay dish, and game ready for cooking were found nearby.
The man is one of an unknown number of uncontacted Ayoreo-Totobiegosode Indians living in the dry forests of northern Paraguay. The Totobiegosode have lost huge swathes of their land in recent years to cattle-ranchers, such as the Brazilian firm Yaguarete Pora S.A.
|A clay dish for toasting seeds was found where the isolated Indian was spotted. |
The man was seen just to the south of the area owned by Yaguarete. In a letter to the Paraguayan government about the sighting, already-contacted Totobiegosode leaders said, ‘We are very concerned about [our relatives still in the forest]. They’re threatened by the deforestation in that region.’
Yaguarete was recently fined $16,000/£10,500 by the Paraguayan authorities for concealing the existence of the Totobiegosode in the area where it was given a licence to work. Earlier this year, the company won Survival’s ‘Greenwashing Award’ 2010 for ‘dressing up the wholesale destruction of a huge area of the Indians’ forest as a noble gesture for conservation.’
Survival director, Stephen Corry, said today, ‘This is further proof the Indians exist. It’s going to make things even more difficult for cattle-ranchers like Yaguarete in the future.’