Indians denounce destruction of fishing waters

September 6, 2006

This page was created in 2006 and may contain language which is now outdated.

A group of Indians have denounced the destruction of their most important river. The Enawene Nawe tribe are angry that the rainforest bordering the Rio Preto, an abundant source of fish, is being rapidly destroyed by cattle ranchers.

The Rio Preto rainforest is of a type known as gallery forest. Brazilian law forbids all logging in gallery forest.

Several leaders recently made the long journey from the interior of Mato Grosso state to the capital, Cuiabá, to meet with the state government's environment agency and the public prosecutor. The authorities promised to act within 30 days to protect the area but have failed to do so.

Earlier this year Enawene Nawe leader Marikeroseene told UK TV channel ITV, 'In the last two years, the felling has risen dramatically. It has doubled…. The situation is unbearable.'

Meanwhile a new study just published by the National Academy of Sciences in the USA used satellite images to demonstrate that soya planters are directly destroying Amazon rainforest, rather than occupying forest already destroyed by cattle ranchers. It estimates that 5,400 square kilometres of forest were destroyed by soya cultivators in Mato Grosso between 2001 and 2004.

Enawene Nawe