6 Dec 2010

More police sent to Rapa Nui from Chile after clashes over disputed land

5:59 am on 6 December 2010

The Chilean government has sent police reinforcements from the mainland to Easter Island following clashes over land disputes with indigenous Rapa Nui.

Dozens of people, including policemen, have been injured.

This comes after special police faced resistance when they started removing Rapa Nui groups from buildings, including a hotel, which they have been occupying for months.

The Rapa Nui laid claim to the premises as part of a bid to have ancestral land returned but the Chilean administration ruled that the seizures were illegal.

The interior minister, Rodrigo Hinzpeter, has flown to the island to oversee the evictions.

He has told the newspaper, La Tercera, that there is a limit to these things and it was reached when illegal takeovers caused damage to the island.