Urgent email

Save the Ayoreo’s Last Forest

Ayoreo woman

Ayoreo woman
© Survival

A large part of the lands of the only uncontacted indigenous people in South America living outside the Amazon is in the hands of ranching companies who have rapidly destroyed it.

The uncontacted Ayoreo-Totobiegosode of Paraguay live permanently on the run, fleeing from invaders and fires. All around them the forest is being destroyed, and they live in an island of forest that’s getting smaller all the time.

The Ayoreo were forced into contact by missionaries and invaders on their lands. As a result, many died and those who survive today suffer from poor health. They defend the right and wish of their relatives living in the forest to remain uncontacted.

“Unless our lands are protected, our [uncontacted relatives] who want to stay in the forest will soon no longer be able to survive there,” says Orojoi, a Totobiegosode leader.

For more than 25 years, Survival has campaigned for the Ayoreo’s land rights, and part of their land has now been protected. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has ordered Paraguay to protect the Ayoreo’s land.

But the Ayoreo now need their allies to ramp up the campaign.

Help us pressure the Paraguayan government so that the last uncontacted indigenous people of the Chaco have a chance to survive, and to decide their own future.

Emails sent:  Help us reach 10,000!

To: Mr. Vice President Hugo Alberto Velázquez Moreno and Mr. Edgar Gustavo Olmedo Silva

Target email addresses:[email protected][email protected]

CC email addresses: [email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected]

Dear Mr. Vice President Hugo Alberto Velázquez Moreno and Mr. Edgar Gustavo Olmedo Silva:

As you know, ownership of the Ayoreo Totobiegosode people’s territory (known as PNCAT) should have been transferred back to them, the indigenous owners, decades ago, as established by international law, Paraguayan legislation and your own Constitution.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has also ordered the Paraguayan government to protect the territory of the Ayoreo. However, the government has not fulfilled its responsibility and their land continues to be shared out between four agribusiness companies (Yaguareté Porã S.A., Carlos Casado S.A., River Plate S.A. and Itapoti S.A.). This is a huge threat to the uncontacted Ayoreo’s survival.

Not only is it your duty to return the land to its rightful owners and so ensure the survival of Paraguay's last uncontacted people, but it will also help the country fight its spiraling rate of deforestation. The uncontacted peoples are the best guardians of the natural world. By transferring their lands back to them, you will save their lives as well as their forest.

I urge you to act with haste to restore the land to the Ayoreo Totobiegosode people and expel all invaders from their territory.