6 Dec 2010

Chile official wants immediate end to all protest action on Easter Island

8:11 pm on 6 December 2010

The Chilean provincial official responsible for Rapa Nui or Easter Island says he wants all protestors evicted from disputed properties by the end of the year.

This follows the latest clash over ancestral lands between indigenous Easter Islanders and police reinforcements sent from Chile.

Sally Round reports.

"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. Mr Hitorangi says the head of the so-called Rapa Nui parliament was shot in the back and many others were injured. He says there's a huge sense of uncertainty and the island is operating under virtual martial law. But tourism operator Conny Martin says many Rapa Nui just want a peaceful solution to the troubles and they're calling for calm dialogue. A Chilean human rights activist and senator has spent the weekend investigating the latest clash."