20 Aug 2010

No comment by govt over Easter Island protest

6:32 am on 20 August 2010

The government of Chile is refusing to comment on an ongoing protest by the indigenous people of Easter Island (Rapa Nui).

Police removed the protestors from the Governor's offices two days ago, but a New York-based islander says he's concerned for the safety of family members, who still occupy the island's hotel.

Santi Hitorangi says most of the indigenous population is involved in the ongoing occupation of government and other buildings in a bid to regain control of ancestral lands and to secure autonomy from Chile.

He claims a para-military police unit is patrolling Rapa Nui and provoking the protestors but he says they're prepared to die if the government does not meet their requirements.