South American Indians campaign for Bushmen

March 29, 2005

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Reaching out from the forests of South America to the Kalahari desert, members of the isolated Ayoreo tribe in Paraguay have added their voices to the Gana and Gwi Bushmen's campaign for their rights. The Ayoreo Indians signed a petition in support of the Bushmen's rights to return to their land, from which they were evicted in 2002 by the Botswana government.

The plight of the Gana and Gwi struck a chord with the Ayoreo-Totobiegosode, who were moved from their land twenty years ago by fundamentalist American missionaries. They too are struggling to return to their land.

The hunter-gatherer Ayoreo-Totobiegosode live in the Chaco, the scrub-forest region of western Paraguay. Some groups of Ayoreo-Totobiegosode choose to maintain total isolation from the outside world, making them the last uncontacted Indians south of the Amazon basin.

Representatives of many other tribal peoples worldwide have already joined the Bushmen's campaign, including the Innu of Canada, the Ogiek and the Maasai of Kenya, the Hadzabe of Tanzania, the Khoisan peoples of South Africa and the Yanomami of Brazil.

Photos and footage available. For more information contact Miriam Ross on (+44) (0)20 7687 8734 or email [email protected]