27 Aug 2010

Rapa Nui protestors expect government pathway to peaceful resolution

3:04 pm on 27 August 2010

A New York-based Rapa Nui man says protestors occupying a hotel and other buildings on Easter island expect the Chilean government to come up with a way of peacefully resolving a conflict over land and autonomy.

Santi Hitorangi says a police para-military unit is still patrolling Rapa Nui and subjecting the protestors, who want their ancestral lands returned and autonomy from Chile, to psychological pressure.

He says the indigenous community has banded together to support the people involved in the occupation.

"So they're still there, they're spirits are high and they are expecting that the Chilean government will lay down some sort of a path for peaceful resolution. There are disproportionate power there in negotiating so the Rapa Nui are trying to hold to the only negotiating chip they have which is their land."

A New York-based Rapa Nui islander, Santi Hitorangi.