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Agrofuels Threaten Indigenous Peoples in Paraguay

Agrofuels Threaten Indigenous Peoples in Paraguay

Indigenous Peoples Living in Voluntary Isolation South from the Amazonian Basin

Paraguay--On both November 26 and 28 in the South of Amotocodie, anthropology and ecology experts of the Union of Native Ayoreo of Paraguay and the NGO Amotocodie Initiative with help from Ayoreo people from the village of Ijnapui hired by the Carlos Casado Company, confirmed the finding of a hut of the Ayoreo living in voluntary isolation. The Ayoreo are the last of such groups living south from the Amazonian Basin.

The Ayoreos land is being deforested at a tremendous rate. More than 200 hectares have been clear-cut and another 1,000 hectares are slated to be cut by the end of the year. The deforesters vow that they will meet this deadline "come what may." The lands will be designated for growing 5 species of oleaginous for "bio-diesel" production including Jatropha curcas.

This tragedy is occurring in Paraguay's largest reservoir of carbon and is happening in a department where deforestation is banned by the Department's Law. Meanwhile, in Poznan, representatives of the Paraguay government are reporting to the XIV Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change that Paraguay has managed to control rampant deforestation and is eager to negotiate payment for these actions.

Furthermore, last Friday the Minister of Agriculture of Paraguay was in the Chaco Region promoting crops for agrofuels as a money making scheme. The company, carlos Casado, already has a "field trial" of 15,000 hectares in the western part of the Chaco.

This dire situation puts in doubt the promises of the Paraguayan Government to protect Indigenous Peoples rights and the environment since both in words and action the government supports projects and policies that devastate the cultural diversity of the society, the environment and the climate. This contradicts the discourse of the President Fernando Lugo about protecting the Indigenous Peoples and the environment.

ENDS

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