Working Group Indigenous Peoples' Issues


Guaraní Indians

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Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia, Brazil (in the states of Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina, Paraná, São Paulo, Mato Grosso do Sul, and Rio de Janeiro)

Ñandeva, Kaiowa, and Mbya

Brazil: 34,000 people, Kaiowa (18,000 to 20,000), Ñandeva (8,000 to 10,000) and Mbya (5,000 to 6,000)
Paraguay: 21,000 people, Pai Tavyterã / Kaiowa (9,000), Ñandeva (7,000) and Mbya (5,000)
Argentina: 4,000 people, almost exclusively Mbya

The Guarani Indians are found all throughout South America, and make up the largest group of indigenous peoples in Brazil. The Guarani at one point in time sustained themselves through hunting and fishing and practising shifting agriculture. Villages would be composed of four to eight communal dwellings which would each hold about 100 people. Land depletion has prevented the Guarani from living in their preferred and traditional way. The oral culture of the Guarani is rich, and storytelling, songs and dances have been the main way their history and culture has been passed from generation to generation. The language of the Guarani is also very unique. It is onomatopoeic in origin so that its sounds replicate the sounds of the forest. The Guarani culture today is a shadow of what it once was, but it has had a strong and lasting impact on the South American countries that it has come in contact with.

Violations of Rights
Aracruz/Veracel taking of indigenous lands, violence and discrimination against Guarani, pollution of habitat
(Read more about Aracruz)
Forced Labor on private ranches
Soy Bean Farms take indigenous land, pollution

Read more about support for the Guaraní

Friends of the Earth Flanders & Brussels (formerly For Mother Earth) is a member of Friends of the Earth International