International Observers Conclude that Chile’s Imposed Regime on Rapa Nui Violates Human Rights

On May 23, 2013, multiple Chilean news outlets posted articles (here, here and here) about a report made to the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs that detailed the relationship between Chile and the Rapa Nui people — ultimately concluding that Chile’s regime on Easter Island violates the Rapa Nui peoples’ rights to territory, self-determination, and political participation. Additionally, the report specifically lays out rights under the American Convention on Human Rights that have been violated and provides several pages of recommendations on how the human rights situation of the Rapa Nui might be improved.

The report (available here in English) is entitled, The Human Rights of the Rapa Nui people on Easter Island: Report of the international Observers’ Mission to Rapa Nui, August 2011, and was originally released in December 2012. As the name suggests, it was compiled from information gathered in August 2011 by a team of international observers that included: Clem Chartier, President of the Métis National Council (Canada); Alberto Chirif, Anthropologist and Researcher, IWGIA (Peru); and Nin Tomas, Associate Professor of Law and Researcher in the area of Indigenous Peoples’ Rights at the University of Auckland in Aotearoa (New Zealand).

These observers traveled to Easter Island in 2011 and, in addition to conducting a review of available written materials, held interviews and discussions with a number of Rapa Nui individuals including: Carmen Cardinali Paoa (Governor of Rapa Nui); Jacobo Hey (court clerk and former Governor of Rapa Nui); Luz Zasso Paoa (Mayor of Rapa Nui); Juan Pablo Letelier (Senator); Carlos Llancaqueo (Presidential Commissioner for Easter Island); Lorena Fries (Director of National Institute for Human Rights); Rapa Nui Parliament members; Te Moana Nui A kiva members; and Makenu re’o Rapa Nui members.

Based on information gathered, the 21-page report is divided into five sections:

  1. Historical information about the relationship between the Rapa Nui people and the Chilean State
  2. Diagnosis of the Human Rights situation of the Rapa Nui and their demands, with special reference to the rights of self-determination and territorial rights
  3. Rights of indigenous peoples in Chile
  4. Conclusions
  5. Recommendations

For more information, check out the International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs website, here.

See the articles linked in this story and additional Indigenous headlines by clicking here (updated daily).

Posted in: Chile, Rapa Nui
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