Category Archives: Rapa Nui

Chilean Government Grants Land to Rapa Nui People

On Wednesday, August 3rd, in a ceremony on Easter Island, the Chilean government returned land to the Rapa Nui people. In total, according to the Government’s website, four grants were made totaling at least nine acres of land. The land grants grew out of long-standing claims of the Rapa Nui people and the Government’s decision to address those claims through the creation of a roundtable on lands in 2010. Continue reading

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CONADI Director Visits Easter Island; Rapa Nui Hold Elections and Protest

Last week, Jorge Retamal, the new National Director of CONADI (Chile’s Indigenous Development Corporation) visited Easter Island for the first time since taking office. During his time on the Island, Retamal made at least two major announcements about programs for the Rapa Nui people — one related to health and the other to language education. In addition to the director’s visit, in the past few days the Rapa Nui people have also held a large protest and elected their representatives to the Easter Island Development Committee. Continue reading

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Chilean Government Creates Marine Reserve in Response to Rapa Nui Claim

On Wednesday, June 8th, the Chilean Government announced the creation of a 210-acre marine reserve in the area of Hanga Roa Otia (Easter Island). The announcement was made by Pablo Galilea, the Undersecretary of Fishing, and, according to him, this reserve is a direct response to the strong demands made by Rapa Nui for protection of its marine wildlife in this area. The creation of the reserve was just one of several projects announced by the Government on Easter Island this week. Continue reading

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Text of Chile’s Speech at UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues

On May 16-27, 2011, the United Nations’ Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues held its tenth session. On Friday, May 20th, Sebastián Donoso — Chile’s Special Advisor on Indigenous Affairs — gave a speech. The official written version of that speech (in Spanish) can be found here. Below is our translation into English. The speech discusses Chile’s efforts with respect to Indigenous peoples, focusing primarily on its attempts to solidify a consultation process that aligns with international law. The speech also makes specific reference to the Rapa Nui people of Easter Island, who were the focus of international attention earlier this year. Continue reading

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One Year After Starting Land Claims, Rapa Nui Hold Demonstration

On Saturday, May 28th, at 10 a.m., Rapa Nui communities held a demonstration on Easter Island to draw attention to their land rights’ struggles. The demonstration takes place exactly one year after the Rapa Nui began holding discussions with the Chilean Government about their lands and land rights. The organizations involved indicated that the march is taking place to show the communities’ continued commitment to reacquiring their lands. Continue reading

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Rapa Nui Receive Land Donation

On Friday, February 18th, Chile’s Secretary of the Interior, Rodrigo Hinzpeter, announced that an agreement has been reached to return land associated with recent Rapa Nui protests over to the Rapa Nui people. Specifically, the Schiess family — who own the disputed land — agreed to donate their private property on Easter Island to the Rapa Nui people. Continue reading

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Case Against Rapa Nui Temporarily Suspended to Resolve Land Issue

On Tuesday, February 8th, the Chilean Government began official proceedings against 17 Rapa Nui individuals who allegedly committed crimes of non-violent theft (seizing land) and trespass when they began occupying the Hotel Hanga Roa last August. The case, however, did not get very far before Judge Nora Bahamondes ruled that the case had to be suspended until a determination can be made on property rights in the case — specifically, who has the rights to the land where the Hotel Hanga Roa sits? Continue reading

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Rapa Nui Evicted; Headed to Inter-American Court

On Sunday, February 6th, Chilean Special Forces removed the Hito clan from the Hotel Hanga Roa on Easter Island. The Hito clan had been occupying the hotel for months in part of a more elaborate series of peaceful occupations throughout the Island. Their removal marks the final eviction in a series of evictions that have been carried out by the Chilean Government across the Island in recent weeks. Continue reading

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U.S. Congressmen Get Involved with Rapa Nui Conflict

On Friday, February 4th, Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii) and Congressman Eni Faleomavaega (D-American Samoa) sent two letters out (complete text below) regarding the ongoing conflict between certain Rapa Nui clans and the Chilean Government. The first of these letters was written to Chile’s President Sebastián Piñera and the second was sent to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Continue reading

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UN Rapporteur Calls for Peaceful Solution with Rapa Nui

Last Wednesday, January 12th, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Issues, James Anaya, issued a press release (Spanish only) concerning the conflictive situation that has been unfolding on Easter Island over the last several months. Continue reading

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