9 Dec 2010

Rapa Nui leader denounces Chile government over violent evictions

2:32 pm on 9 December 2010

The president of the Rapa Nui parliament has denounced Chilean leaders over the way they have tackled the land occupations on Easter Island.

Leviante Araki says the President of Chile, Sebastian Pinera, and the interior minister, Rodrigo Hinzpeter, are scoundrels and thieves following last Friday's violent eviction of Rapa Nui occupiers of public buildings.

Mr Pinera has justified the police action, saying they moved in to uphold public order and execute court orders.

But Mr Araki has told Chilean media his people have no fear and if they have to die they will.

He says before last week's violence they used to believe in Chile but now they want nothing from Chile and move away from it.

The Chilean authorities say they want to end the remaining occupations within weeks.