Landmark Talks on Uncontacted Tribe Fail to Stop Logging

There have been confrontations between the Ayoreo and the Paraguayan authorities in recent years, as the tribe have protested against the theft and destruction of their land.
© GAT/ Survival

Published August 25, 2017

Landmark talks between the Paraguayan government and a recently contacted tribe have yet to reach an agreement, allowing rampant deforestation to continue. Some members of the tribe are uncontacted, and live in a rapidly shrinking island of forest.

The talks began six months ago after a petition from the Ayoreo tribe to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, an influential body which holds governments in the Americas to account on human rights issues. The Ayoreo have been claiming the right to their ancestral land since 1993.

Halfway through the year-long process, however, and little concrete action has been taken, leading to fears for the tribe’s long-term survival. A technical study is due to be carried out to assess the feasibility of securing the land.

The government has also failed to stop the rapid logging of land owned by the Ayoreo, despite a 2016 emergency order from the Inter-American Commission to protect the uncontacted Indians and halt deforestation.

Aerial photograph showing the devastation that logging has brought to Ayoreo land.
© Survival

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