Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Ayoreo-Totobiegosode - under threat from ranchers

Sometimes modern technology, like satellites, can really help - by showing sneaky bulldozers and destruction of land.

Satellite shot of land being taken
"Survival director, Stephen Corry, said today, ‘The Totobiegosode are the most vulnerable uncontacted tribe in the world. A tragedy is unfolding right before our eyes – and the satellite camera’s lens. "
Why are these people so vulnerable?
"The Ayoreo-Totobiegosode is the only uncontacted tribe in the world currently losing its land to beef production."
Who are these indigenous people?
"There are several different sub-groups of Ayoreo. The most isolated are the Totobiegosode (‘people from the place of the wild pigs’). Since 1969 many have been forced out of the forest, but some still avoid all contact with outsiders.
Their first sustained contact with white people came in the 1940s and 1950s, when Mennonite farmers established colonies on their land. The Ayoreo resisted this invasion, and there were killings on both sides.

In 1979 and 1986 the American fundamentalist New Tribes Mission helped organise ‘manhunts’ in which large groups of Totobiegosode were forcibly brought out of the forest. Several Ayoreo died in these encounters, and others succumbed later to disease."
What are the ranchers doing?
"The ranchers, from Brazilian company Yaguarete Pora S.A., are operating on the tribe’s land in Paraguay despite having their licence suspended by the Environment Ministry in August for previous illegal clearance.
Last year Yaguarete, together with another Brazilian company, River Plate S.A., destroyed thousands of hectares of the tribe’s land."
They are clearing the forest, the home of the Ayoreo-Totobiegosode tribe, using bulldozers alleged to belong to Jacobo Kauenhowen, owner of a large bulldozer business in a nearby Mennonite colony.
‘This is a serious threat to the Totobiegosode. The illegal deforestation carried out by Yaguarete in Paraguay is continuing without any control whatsoever,’ said the Paraguayan NGO GAT, which is working to protect the Ayoreo’s lands.
Action to take
Act now to help the Ayoreo

Write a letter to the Paraguayan parliament using Survival’s online letter-writing tool.
Donate to the Ayoreo campaign (and other Survival campaigns).
Write a letter to your MP or MEP (UK).
Write to the President, your senators, congressmen or other elected officials (US).
Write to your local Paraguayan embassy (you can find their address through embassiesabroad.com)

And what lessons can we learn?

Let's use technology to keep an eye on the miners. Let's set up a google map of potential mines, or dams, or wild rivers. We need to keep the message simple and use everything at our disposal. And we need to support other people around the world. we need alignment.

1 comment:

jen said...

The Missionaries goal with these people is to convert them. The loggers goal is to destroy the land. The government's role seems to be any type of economical gain (by allowing private landowners land titles). The rancher's goals are to have cattle. These power players are actively pursuing their goals without stopping to consider the plight and implications of the destruction of these people.