8 Nov 2011

Rapa Nui activist says large Chilean police presence maintained on island

1:58 pm on 8 November 2011

A Rapa Nui activist says Chilean police maintain a disproportionate presence on the island.

Almost a year ago, a land dispute erupted into violence when special forces began evicting members of the local community from premises they say were built on land taken from them in the 19th century.

Santi Hitorangi says the Washington-based Inter American court last week dropped the precautionary measure it had in place to protect those on Rapa Nui.

He says the Hitorangi clan is still in court, fighting for its land.

"There are different tactics they use to undermine the Hitorangi clan's right, their way of life, and to stop them from protesting. Although they are not shooting their guns, but they have this disproportionate police presence there, they have a crooked judge, they don't give permits for people to protest."

Santi Hitorangi says the laws preventing protests are new this year.