Glimmer of hope for uncontacted tribe

November 14, 2008

The moment of first contact between four Ayoreo-Totobiegosode men and the outside world in 2004. © GAT/Survival

This page was created in 2008 and may contain language which is now outdated.

A Brazilian company devastating the territory of uncontacted Indians in Paraguay has had its licence to work in the area withdrawn.

The decision was announced yesterday by Paraguay’s National Environment Council (CONAM). It comes after satellite photos revealed the destruction of the Indians’ land, widespread condemnation in Paraguay, increasing media coverage of the issue around the world, and hundreds of letters from Survival supporters to the Paraguayan government.

Whether CONAM’s decision will actually stop the devastation remains to be seen. A government team recently tried to inspect the area, but personnel from the company, Yaguarete Pora, barred it from entering. Another government team is visiting the area today.

The Indians, from the Ayoreo-Totobiegosode tribe, are the only uncontacted people in South America outside the Amazon basin. Yaguarete want their land to graze cattle for beef.