The indigenous and Afro-descendent peoples are addressing the threat head on—fighting back to protect their territory and way of life. This is the story of PATROL.
“My children are growing up. I don’t want them to see the trees or animals only in pictures. Man is destroying the jungle in order to make lots of money.”
Every year animal agriculture produces more greenhouse gases than all of the transportation sector, accelerating global warming and putting the future of humanity at risk. Mesoamerica is a biodiversity hotspot; with only 0.5 percent of the world's land surface, the region is home to 7 percent of its biological diversity. The five forests of Mesoamerica are the home of endangered species, such as the jaguar, scarlet macaw, tapir and giant anteater. They are also the home of over 500,000 indigenous and Afro-descendent peoples, whose livelihoods depend on the conservation of these ancient forests. Together, they manage and protect half of the remaining forested area. They need our support. In countries like Nicaragua, international demand for beef is the main cause of deforestation. Despite laws that prohibit cattle farms in protected land and beef traceability programs, illegally raised cattle are laundered and sold to slaughterhouses that export beef overseas.
Where Nicaraguan beef goes into the U.S.
A Case in Point
• 1,400 hectares of deforested land.
• Over 70 young breeding bulls for export.
• Livestock with tags registered in the National Traceability System and ready to be sold to slaughterhouses that export beef.
An investigation by Nicaraguan journalists discovered that the farm is owned by José Solís Duron, a cattle rancher with family ties to a high-level official within Nicaragua’s judicial system. Known as La Haciendita, the illegal farm revealed the failings of Nicaragua's supposed beef traceability system and the complicity of government institutions with illegal cattle ranchers. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case.
As a result of the land grabs, 62 indigenous rangers and community members have been killed since 2013 and thousands have been displaced from their homes. However, the communities continue to fight back.
Together, we can help stop the sale of commodities affiliated with deforestation from Nicaragua to the US by demanding greater transparency and stricter controls to beef supply chains iIn Nicaragua; by supporting the Forest Act; by exerting pressure on the Nicaraguan government to safeguard protected forests and make supply chains truly transparent; and by bringing greater awareness to importers and consumers of the origins of Nicaraguan beef and the impact of individual dietary choices.
“Four, five years back, we used to go way up the Indian River, and there were no people. But starting two years ago, we find people. And after this year, the whole place is full of people.”
Together, we can help create a movement to stop the sale of beef affiliated to deforestation from Nicaragua to the US and other markets. By doing so, we can safeguard the lives of the Rama-Kriol and other indigenous and Afro-descendant peoples, preserve precious biodiversity and protect the planet.
Support indigenous and Afro-descendent communities.
Demand greater transparency and stricter controls of Nicaragua’s beef supply chains.
Push for approval of the US Forest Act to stop the import of goods associated with deforestation.
Bring greater awareness to importers and consumers of the origins of Nicaraguan beef and the impact of individual dietary choices.