top of page
Patrol on patrol_edited_edited_edited_ed

PATROL

When your life depends on the forest, you’ll do anything to protect it

Nicaragua is facing an escalating crisis.

Illegal cattle ranchers, miners and loggers are decimating protected rainforests. Deforestation is leading to destruction of biodiversity, traditional ways of life and climate change. Commodities produced on illegally converted lands are finding their way to unsuspecting consumers in the US and other major markets.

The indigenous and Afro-descendent population are fighting back

to protect their land and way of life.

cc-https-_news.mongabay_edited.jpg
THE ISSUE

The world is at a tipping point on climate change. While fossil fuels are a key driver, deforestation is another

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% 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 home to 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.  Today, Nicaragua is the largest exporter of beef in Central America and the fifth largest supplier of fresh beef to the United States. As a result, the country has one of the world’s highest deforestation rates in the world and has lost nearly 60% of its forests in the last 40 years. 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. Beef importers claim that their suppliers don’t harm the environment, but Nicaragua’s slaughter houses rely on a traceability system plagued by corruption and lack of transparency. 

A CASE IN POINT

In March 207, Rama and Kriol rangers found a large illegal cattle farm in the heart of the Indio Maíz Reserve, including:

* 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. 

Indio Maiz.png

 

THE SOLUTION

Without raising the alarm and taking action, the situation in Nicaragua will only get worse. 

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.

DB-Indio-Maiz-Nicaragua-0231_edited_edited_edited_edited_edited.jpg
TAKE ACTION

Here are 5 things you can do now!

1

Support indigenous and Afro-descendent communities. * The indigenous Rama and Afro-descendent Kriol share a land title over a territory that expands over 316,720 hectares, including the Indio Maíz Biological Reserve, one of the best preserved tracts of rainforest in Mesoamerica.  In order to protect it, the communities organize patrols to install signage, demarcate the border of their territory and document illegal invasions to pressure the government to uphold the law. 
 * We can support the Rama and Kriol by sharing information about their territory, organizing viewing parties of the documentary and writing to the beef importers to demand that they stop buying beef from slaughterhouses that source their cattle from indigenous territories and protected areas.  


2

Demand greater transparency and stricter controls of Nicaragua’s beef supply chains. * According to Nicaraguan law, it is illegal to buy and sell cattle raised in indigenous territories and protected areas. Cattle ranchers must register their cattle in a government run database and auction houses, truck drivers and slaughterhouses must report the movements of the cattle.  However, the system is plagued by corruption, lacks transparency and is not accessible to organizations with independent oversight authority. 
   * For these reasons we are demanding that the government allow an independent audit of the traceability system and that indigenous and environmental organizations be given access to view the informatión linked to illegal cattle in indigenous territories and protected areas. 
 * The government must act to investigate and prosecute illegal cattle ranchers and auction houses who sell and buy cattle raised in indigenous territories and protected areas. Demand greater transparency and stricter controls of Nicaragua’s beef supply chains. * Sign and send a letter to beef importers, slaughterhouses and the Nicaraguan government. Details coming soon.

3

Push for approval of the Forest Act.
 * The Forest Act was introduced in both branches of Congress in 2021. The act will prohibit the import of products from illegally deforested land into the US and will require importers of high-risk commodities to trace and confirm the legality of the products they sell throughout their supply chains. This in turn will exert pressure on the Nicaraguan government to safeguard protected forests and make supply chains truly transparent.
 * Sign the petition! https://support.worldwildlife.org/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&id=1066&page=UserAction&utm_campaign=forests&utm_content=wwfact&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com

4

Raise awareness to importers and consumers of the origins of Nicaraguan beef and the impact of individual dietary choices.
 * Unsuspecting consumers are unaware of the origins of the beef they eat and often how their personal dietary choices negatively affect climate change and indigenous communities. [LINK to the Re:Wild Your Fridge campaign.]
 * Spread the word–use digital postcards to:
 * Share factoids about Nicaragua’s illegal deforestation and human rights abuses.
 * Tell your friends and audiences to demand transparency about the products they buy in grocery stores. 
 Check here soon for social assets.

5

Donate—help us fund our outreach efforts to drive attention and action on these critical issues.

PayPal ButtonPayPal Button
IMG_2670_edited_edited_edited.jpg
THE FILM

SYNOPSIS

An emerging crisis in one of the last remaining rainforests in Central America ignites a heroic mission in PATROL. When illegal cattle ranchers decimate large swaths of rainforest, indigenous rangers join forces with an American conservationist and undercover journalists to expose the dark world of conflict beef. 

 

THE STORY

 

PATROL is a character-driven documentary that follows communities on the frontlines of an intensifying environmental conflict in Nicaragua. On one side, the Rama Indians, in alliance with the Afro-Descendant Kriol community, are fighting to stop illegal cattle ranchers from destroying the virgin rainforests of the Indio-Maiz Biological Reserve. 

 

ARMANDO JOHN, a quiet but thoughtful young man, and MARGARITO, a sarcastic but softhearted father of six, lead the Forest Ranger squads. They have teamed up with DR. CHRIS JORDAN, an American conservationist. Jordan came to the Indio Maíz Reserve to study how local cultures interact with wildlife and quickly fell in love with the generosity of the Rama and Kriol people and the incredible beauty of the Reserve.

  

Interwoven into the narrative is the story of CARMEN AND CHACALIN - illegal cattle ranchers who have moved deep into the jungle. They have deforested a large parcel of land in order to bring in cattle and are helping other families invade the Reserve. 

 

While on an expedition to confront illegal ranchers, the Rangers discover a large cattle farm deep inside their territory. An unknown but wealthy rancher has deforested 400 acres and moved in 80 young bulls, all with ear tags and branding.

 

Teaming up with undercover Nicaraguan journalists, the Rangers learn the rancher’s identity–JOSE SOLIS DURON, who defiantly tells the journalists, “I’m not the only in there. If you want to take me out, you have to remove everyone.”

 

 

CREW

 

Produced and directed by

CAMILO DE CASTRO

BRAD ALLGOOD 

 

CINEMATOGRAPHY BY

CAMILO DE CASTRO 

BRAD ALLGOOD

 

EDITORS

BRAD ALLGOOD

CAMILO DE CASTRO 

 

FIELD PRODUCER

CHRIS JORDAN

 

IMPACT PRODUCER

ANGIE GENTILE

 

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER

JENNIFER TOCQUIGNY 

CONTRIBUTING PRODUCER

STEVE DORST

bottom of page