Survival International overlapped the deforestation maps produced by the University of Maryland, to the ancestral land of the uncontacted Ayoreo tribe, unveiling that their land is being devastated by the world’s highest rate of deforestation, in the development of cattle ranches.
Like many indigenous peoples around the world, the Indians depend on the forest for their survival and have protected it over thousands of years.
Paraguay’s Environment Ministry recently caused outrage by granting Brazil-owned ranching companies Yaguarete Pora S.A. and Carlos Casado S.A. (a subsidiary of Spanish construction company Grupo San José) licenses to clear the Ayoreo’s forest, despite it being within a UNESCO biosphere reserve.
The uncontacted Ayoreo are forced to live on the run from the bulldozers constantly clearing their forest. Any contact with the ranchers could kill them as they lack immunity to diseases brought in by outsiders.
In an urgent appeal to the UN's Special Rapporteur for indigenous peoples, the Ayoreo organization OPIT said, ’(For the Ayoreo and their uncontacted relatives), protecting the forest and their territories constitutes life itself. "Yaguarete and Carlos Casado’s ranching projects on the ancestral land of the Ayoreo-Totobiegosode would obliterate and devastate their forest system with all its natural resources."