Choice Cuts

Jul 5, 2017 · 37 min read
Bricapar charcoal facility at Teniente Ochoa ©Earthsight


The Chaco, Charcoal, & Uncontacted Tribes

Figure 1: Jaguar photographed in the Gran Chaco forest ©Hugo Santa Cruz & Fundación Yaguareté
Figure 2: Deforestation in the Paraguayan Chaco, 2006–2015, from
Figure 3: Charcoal production facility in the Paraguayan Chaco ©ABC Color
Figure 4: Greenpeace protesting clearance of Chaco forests in Argentina ©Julio Pantoja
Figure 5: Chaco forest converted into cattle pasture near Mariscal Estigarribia in the Paraguayan Chaco ©Michael Edwards / Alamy Stock Photo

From the Chaco to the Checkouts

Figure 6: Webpage of Paraguayan charcoal exporter Dolimex, advertising that the products come from Chaco forests
Figure 7: Ramón Jiménez Gaona, Paraguayan Minister of Public Works and major shareholder of leading Paraguayan charcoal exporter, speaking to the press about sustainable development in March 2017
Figure 8: Bricapar charcoal facility at Teniente Ochoa ©Earthsight
Figure 9: Map of priority areas for conservation in Western Paraguay from 2010, showing IRASA lease (Source: USAID, Report on Biodiversity and Tropical Forests in Paraguay, 2010)
Figure 10: Deforestation within IRASA lease (red) at Teniente Ochoa and position (yellow) of previous and current Bricapar charcoal facilities
Figure 11: Land stripped bare and bulldozed trees lying on their sides within a recently cleared plot of land in the IRASA lease, near to Bricapar’s charcoal facility (Source: Worldview satellite image, Sept 2016)
Figure 12: Recent deforestation around the current Bricapar charcoal facility at Teniente Ochoa, Oct 2015 — Jan 2017 (Image Source: Sentinel Hub)
Figure 13: Some of Bricapar’s charcoal ovens at Teniente Ochoa ©Earthsight
Figure 14: Map of Ayoreo territory and signs of the presence of isolated Ayoreo, overlaid with the boundaries of the IRASA lease area (red) within which Bricapar’s charcoal facility is sited, and the approximate boundary of the broader area of land owned by IPS (yellow) (Base map source: ‘The Case of the Ayoreo’, UNAP/IA, 2010)
Figure 15: Bags of US and EU customer charcoal shown on Bricapar’s website (Source:, accessed 4th July 2017)
Figure 16: Ibecosol charcoal briquettes on sale in Carrefour, Spain, 2017 (L) and Figure 17: Paraguayan charcoal supplied by Ibecosol on sale at Lidl, Spain, 2017 (R)

Table: Bricapar charcoal market connections

Sources: Quantities of sales to Spain, Germany, UK and Denmark claimed by Ibecosol CEO in interview with undercover Earthsight investigator. Figure for USA from Paraguay export records. Sales in Lidl Spain and Aldi Nord in Germany confirmed by those companies in correspondence with Earthsight. Sales in Carrefour in Spain confirmed by Earthsight observations. Sales in Lidl Germany and Aldi Nord in Spain claimed by Ibecosol CEO, and not denied by the companies when given an opportunity. Planned sales to Walmart stores in Mexico claimed by Ibecosol CEO.
Figure 18: Quebracho tree trunks and branches waiting to be converted into charcoal at Bricapar’s facility at Teniente Ochoa, November 2016 ©Earthsight




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