Monday, December 6, 2010
This is an update of a development we reported on yesterday. Radio New Zealand International reports that the Chilean provincial official responsible for Rapa Nui (Easter Island) wants all protestors evicted from disputed properties by the end of the year. This news follows the latest clash over ancestral lands between indigenous islanders and police reinforcements sent from Chile. Chile’s La Tercera newspaper reports Valparaiso Mayor Raul Celis wants a peaceful retreat from all the properties occupied in the on going dispute. But Rapa Nui activist Santi Hitorangi says about one hundred people are still occupying six properties in the Chilean territory and he says they’re preparing for the worst. He says his legs are riddled with wounds from Friday’s clash when authorities fired rubber bullets and native Rapa Nui threw rocks in response.
The East-West Center in Honolulu notes that Rapa Nui was annexed by Chile in 1888 and that the indigenous population comprises approximately half of the 5,000 inhabitants on the island.
Hat tips to Radio New Zealand International and the East-West Center.