Uncontacted tribes film sent to Congress

Four Ayoreo-Totobiegosode men make first contact with the outside world in 2004.
Four Ayoreo-Totobiegosode men make first contact with the outside world in 2004.
© GAT / Survival

Survival’s groundbreaking film about uncontacted tribes has been sent to every member of Paraguay’s Congress to highlight the threats to the Ayoreo-Totobiegosode, Paraguay’s last uncontacted Indians.

The film, narrated by Spanish celebrities Ana Belén and Oscar Jaenada, features an interview with a Totobiegosode man and previously unseen footage of his tribe’s territory being destroyed. It also features extraordinary footage of some of the world’s most isolated tribes in Brazil, Peru and India, including the moment of first contact between outsiders and the Brazilian Korubo tribe.

Multi-award-winning singer and actress Ana Belén said, in a statement to mark the launch of the film, ‘(Uncontacted tribes) are the most vulnerable people on the planet. If their land and rights to live there are not protected, they will disappear.’

Actor Oscar Jaenada stated, ‘It’s said that the savage is not the one living in the jungle, but the one who destroys it. Why are we allowing these tragedies to continue?’

The Totobiegosode's land is being rapidly destroyed by two Brazilian companies who want to graze cattle for beef. The amount of land cleared has almost tripled since May.

Last year Survival presented a petition of 57,000 signatures to Paraguayan embassies across Western Europe urging the Paraguayan government to title the Totobiegosode’s land.

Some Totobiegosode have already been contacted and since 1993 have been trying to protect the last substantial part of their territory. Under international law, Paraguay’s government is legally obliged to title this area to them.

Survival International’s Director, Stephen Corry, said today, ‘Being the home of the last uncontacted Indians outside the Amazon is one of the things Paraguay is best known for and their fate is of huge interest to many people around the world. For too many years their homeland has been destroyed in the face of government indifference – we hope things might now change.’

To watch the film, in Spanish, click here.

To watch an English version of the film, narrated by Oscar winner Julie Christie, click here.