17 Aug 2010

Chilean military removes indigenous Easter Islanders from protest occupation

7:51 pm on 17 August 2010

A Rapa Nui man says a thousand people who had been occupying buildings on the isolated Chilean island have been forced out at gunpoint by the military.

The indigenous people on Rapa Nui, or Easter Island, are claiming that the buildings are unlawfully on their land.

They are also protesting over immigration to the island.

Santi Hitorangi, who's based in New York, says his family has been occupying the Hangaroa Hotel for the past week.

He says all the protestors were removed from the buildings and placed on the street, but haven't been charged with any offences.

"In the meantime the owners of the Hangaroa Hotel have filed a lawsuit against my sister and my aunt and the people who were there, you know, reclaiming the land. And I don't know whether the Government has done the same thing for the other people who have been reclaiming the land."

Santi Hitorangi speaking from New York.