Official Paraguayan Report Confirms Presence of ‘Hiding Tribe’ at Controversial Ranch
ASUNCIÓN, Paraguay -- In an official report, Paraguay’s Department of Indian Affairs INDI has confirmed that an uncontacted tribe is living on farmland in the northern Chaco region owned by a controversial ranching company.
woman. Her uncontacted relatives are under threat from logging.
Signs of the uncontacted Ayoreo Indians
have been found on land owned by Brazilian company River Plate. The
investigation shows clear signs of the so-called ‘hiding tribe’s’ presence,
detailing footprints, holes dug to capture tortoises and broken branches.
INDI warned, ‘The Indians living in
the area are forced to flee to other areas to avoid being discovered…to ignore
the knowledge possessed by the original owners of the Chaco forest would be a
The evidence will have consequences for controversial cattle
ranching companies River Plate and BBC S.A. who have
already been accused of putting the lives of the Ayoreo at risk.
Satellite images from 2011 revealed their brazen destruction
of almost 4,000 hectares of forest inhabited by uncontacted Indians, and led to
the companies being charged
with illegal deforestation.
Ayoreo organization OPIT has appealed
for more to be done to protect uncontacted members who are being pushed
out of their forest homes by River Plate’s work.
In February, Ayoreo leader Porai Picanerai told Paraguay’s
Attorney General, ‘We ask you to stop deforestation in the Chaco, and to punish
those who are killing the forest which we depend on for our survival.’
encouraging the government has heeded Ayoreo calls to
investigate the presence of their uncontacted relatives. However,
actions speak louder than words. The government must now clamp down on illegal
deforestation and guarantee the Ayoreo rights to land, which they have claimed
for over 20 years. It’s imperative if the survival of their uncontacted
relatives is to be safeguarded,’ Survival’s Director Stephen Corry said in a media statement.
Photo: House of uncontacted Ayoreo, discovered when a road was bulldozed through their land. The next day the bulldozer returned and flattened the house. © Survival
Source: Survival International
Published by: Magne Ove Varsi