Brazilian rancher greeted by ‘illegal’ advert

Survival's advert in Paraguay's leading newspaper, Ultima Hora
Survival’s advert in Paraguay’s leading newspaper, Ultima Hora
© Survival

A Brazilian rancher destroying uncontacted Indians’ land in Paraguay has today arrived in that country to be greeted with a national newspaper advert denouncing his actions as ‘illegal’.

Sr. Marcelo Bastos Ferraz represents the Brazilian firm Yaguarete Porá, which created a storm of controversy last year after satellite photos revealed it was illegally clearing vast areas of forest in western Paraguay. The area is home to the last uncontacted Indians outside of the Amazon basin, who are members of the Ayoreo-Totobiegosode tribe.

Sr. Ferraz arrived in Paraguay today as part of his company’s efforts to gain official permission for further forest clearance.

But Survival International has today published an advert in Paraguay’s leading newspaper Ultima Hora denouncing the firm’s activities, and urging Paraguayans to protest to their Senator.

Yaguarete Porá and another firm, River Plate, both own large parcels of land in western Paraguay that are inside the ancestral territory of the Totobiegosode Indians. Although the Indians have been trying to claim title to their land since 1993, as is their right under Paraguayan law, only a small part has so far been protected.

Yaguarete Porá is pushing ahead with plans to deforest two thirds of its land for cattle ranching. It plans to declare the remaining third a ‘private ecological reserve’.

Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said today, ‘Yaguarete’s proposal to keep a third of its land as a private ‘reserve’ is clearly intended to disguise the fact that it plans to destroy the other two thirds of the area – some 500 sq km. These plans actually represent one of the gravest threats to uncontacted Indians anywhere in the world.’

View a copy of the ad (in Spanish)

For more information please contact Miriam Ross at Survival International on (44) (0)20 7687 8734 or (44) (0)7504 543 367 or email [email protected]