57,000 sign petition to save uncontacted Ayoreo-Totobiegosode

August 8, 2007

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Survival will present a petition to the Paraguayan government on 9 August, UN Indigenous People’s Day, with 57,000 signatures in support of uncontacted Ayoreo Indians. The petition will be presented simultaneously in London, Madrid, Paris, Berlin and Brussels.

The Ayoreo-Totobiegosode are South America’s last surviving uncontacted tribe outside the Amazon basin. Their forest is being illegally cut down, forcing them to live constantly on the run in fear of bulldozers.

The tribe’s land is almost entirely in the hands of powerful landlords from over the border in Brazil, who are illegally razing the forest for cattle ranching.

Survival researcher Jonathan Mazower has recently returned from Paraguay where he met relatives of the uncontacted Indians. He says, ‘The Ayoreo who have contact with outsiders are trying to save the last of their forest for their uncontacted relatives.

'The Paraguayan constitution recognises the Indians’ rights to their land, but the Totobiegosode have been waiting for years, and hardly any land has been titled to them. Unless the government acts quickly the forest will soon be completely gone, and with it the Indians’ chance of a future for them and their children.’

Jonathan Mazower is available for interview.
Access Survival’s online Ayoreo media kit

Photos of Survival supporters presenting the petition will be added to the media kit on 9 August.

For further information contact Miriam Ross on (+44) (0)20 7687 8734 or email [email protected]