Brazil has three months to evict illegal loggers

By agency reporter
11 Sep 2012

Brazil has just three months to evict illegal loggers from land belonging to Earth’s most threatened tribe before it will be in breach of a court order, says Survival International who reveal that logging is still rife inside the territory.

The clock is now ticking for Brazil’s government, which has had years to tackle the problem.

In December 2011, a judge ruled that a deadline of one year was "sufficient time for non-Indians to be removed, and the constructions built on Awá land undone."

However, last week evidence emerged showing that illegal loggers are now working as close as six kilometres from vulnerable Awá families.

Survival is now monitoring the impending deadline, and has started a countdown clock live on its website, to remind Brazilian authorities how little time they have left.

Stephen Corry, Director of Survival said today (11 September), "This is a race against time. Brazil has had more than enough time to expel illegal loggers and settlers from Awá land, yet almost nothing has actually been done on the ground. If it is serious about saving Earth’s most threatened tribe and respecting its own legal rulings, it will get the loggers out in the next three months."

So far, more than 33,000 messages from all over the world have been sent to Brazil’s Justice Minister, pressuring him to do more to protect the Awá’s land.

The attention has prompted Brazil’s Indian affairs department (FUNAI) to announce a special Awá programme. It has put a new team in place to oversee the project, which specialises in areas such as land protection and health.

But until Brazil’s Justice Minister sends in the police to evict the invaders, little will change on the ground, says Survival.

[Ekk/4]

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