Ray of hope for isolated Indians

  • 29/11/2004

Ray of hope for isolated Indians Uncontacted Ayoreo Indians in Paraguay's forests, whose native land has been snatched away by landholding companies, may soon find a respite. A bill to forcibly expropriate the land from the companies has been passed by Paraguay's lower house, the Chamber of Deputies, and is now being considered by its Senate committee. The Indians living in these forests are believed to be the last such isolated group outside the Amazon.

Earlier this year, a group dramatically emerged from the forest to issue a plea to stop intrusion. "Please do not touch the forest, because it gives us life. Please stop the bulldozers,' the Indians said. "These are the last isolated Indians left outside the Amazon. By law their territory should have been protected years ago, but instead there have been repeated incursions and much of it has been destroyed. The Ayoreo still cling on to a fraction of it; they will not survive unless it is protected now,' said Stephen Corry, director, Survival International, that supports tribal rights.

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