Updated: According to La Tercera, the Undersecretary of the Interior, Rodrigo Ubilla, announced today that agreements have been reached between the Chilean government and 26 families on the island over ongoing land issues.
Specifically, President Piñera reportedly signed a decree that would regularize the land for these families, which include more than 100 inhabitants on Easter Island. The titles will be delivered to the families within 60 days, after they go through the necessary administrative steps.
When this post was originally made there was no mention as to whether or not the Hito family, who had been in discussions with the Undersecretary for several days, was among those who reached an agreement. However, this afternoon the Hito clan responded by saying that nothing with their situation had been resolved–calling the Undersecretary’s visit irrelevant. Marisol Hito, a spokesperson for the clan, stated that the land titles referenced were from old claims that had nothing to do with the current demands being made, but that the government wanted to confuse the public and give the appearance that something good was being accomplished. The family also stated that they were going to continue their occupation of the Hotel Hanga Roa, and that they hadn’t ruled out the possibility of a hunger strike as well.
In addition to mentioning the Hito clan’s response, the only references made to individuals affected were to Catalina Teao Pate and Alberto Tepihi, both of whom expressed joy over the resolution.
In other news from Easter Island, Ubilla also gave $5 million pesos to the Colegio Hermano Eugenio Eyraud for the purchase of more than 100 traditional garments to be used by certain students there. In doing so, Ubilla reiterated the government’s desire in preserving art, culture and traditions of its indigenous peoples.
Finally, the Association of Archaeologists released a statement this morning stating its concern about how the Rapa Nui have been treated lately, and urging the government to grant the Rapa Nui their requests in relation to land use. This statement was made prior to Ubilla’s announcement becoming public.