Paraguay overflight confirms Brazilians’ destruction of Ayoreo land

May 14, 2012

© Survival

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A Survival International overflight of the Chaco forest in Paraguay has confirmed fears that cattle ranchers are destroying the last hiding place of uncontacted Ayoreo Indians.

Aerial views of the Chaco in northern Paraguay show large tracts of barren land that have been deforested to make way for hundreds of cattle.

Brazilian owned companies River Plate S.A. and BBC S.A have both been caught illegally clearing land that belongs to the Ayoreo.

Contacted members of the tribe have repeatedly expressed their fear for the lives of their relatives who remain hidden in the forest.

But the farmers continue to operate in the area, despite several court charges brought against them.

A Survival spokesperson who was present during the overflight said, ‘The thing which struck me most was how small the Ayoreo’s area is. 

‘Anyone living within the core must be very well aware of what is going on around them and feel very threatened.  The encroaching farms are like a tightening noose and it cannot be easy to cross to reach other undisturbed areas.’

Government authorities recently confirmed the presence of uncontacted Ayoreo on River Plate’s land, but it is unclear what actions will be taken to protect them.