August 2020

Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Chilean Troops Flown in to Suppress Rapanui -- On the Verge of Extinction


- September 29, 2010 Contact: Kihi Tuki-Hito 011 56 9 88190047
Levanate Araki 011 56 9 81506843
Santi Hitorangi 1 845 596 5402

This morning a C-47 military plane arrived on Rapanui (aka Easter Isalnd) with a contingency of SWAT teams to augment the already in-place armed forces set to remove indigenous Rapanui people from their ancestral lands.. Since July 31, the Rapanui have been non-violently re-occupied the land illegally taken from their grandparents and have been , asking for their legal title to be restored.

Tonight the Rapanui people are on high alert – expecting what may come in the wee hours of the morning.

This afternoon Marisol Hito, spokeswomen of the Hitorangi clan, presented the Rapanui case to the Human Rights Commission of the Chilean House of Representatives. The Commission unanimously voted to stay any order to harm or remove Rapanui people from their claims.

Marisol Hito stated that, “We have been asking to negotiate for 60 days with the Chilean government, but they have refused to negotiate and instead sent in armed troops to cause psychological and physical duress . From day one we have been expressing that our claim is for recognition of title to our lands, and the ability to manage our sovereignty. Under Chilean law only Rapanui people can legally hold title to land on the island.”

The Human Rights Commission filed a protective order for the 18 children that are in occupation at the Hanga Roa Hotel, reclaiming their land title and future. The Hanga Roa property was illegally sold during the Pinochet regime to a non-Rapanui person, and was subsequently transferred to a non-Rapanui corporation, in violation of Chilean law.

Kihi Tuki-Hito showed the Rapanui flag on the back of his jacket and spoke to press after the 8 hour meeting with the Human Rights Commission. He said, “ We want to peacefully restore our rights to our land and self government”.

Chile has refused to conduct serious and meaningful peaceful negotiations and has criminalize all the Rapanui claimants in violation of human rights and of the Universal Declaration of Indigenous Rights, to which Chile is a signatory.

Ironically Chile uses the Rapanui moai, the well-known monolithic stone statutes, on its currency and passports as a symbol colonial supremacy over Rapanui people.

Only 5,000 Rapanui people exist today . Any violence against them is an act of extinction to these legendary people who are a heritage and treasure of humanity. In 1994 UNSECO declared Rapanui as a “heritage of humanity.”

If we as humans can save the smallest inhabited place on the planet earth, Rapanui, then when we can learn how to heal and save our entire human existence on this planet.

This is a an S.O.S. for the world to save itself.

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