UCTP Taino News – On Friday, December 3, Chilean troops opened fire on unarmed Rapa Nui (Easter Island) People who have been peacefully occupying tribal land taken over by the State. The attack has left 19 Rapanui wounded with 3 needing to be evacuated to mainland Chile to be treated for their serious wounds.
Roberto Mukaro Agueibana Borrero, a representative for the United Confederation of Taíno People (UCTP) stated that “As Indigenous Peoples we must condemn these acts of violence perpetuated on the Rapa Nui by the Chilean government. In solidarity with the Rapa Nuii the UCTP calls on Chilean President Sebastian Pinera to be directly involved in finding a peaceful and lasting resolution to this crisis.”
Borrero continued stating that "As Chile adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in 2007 they have a moral obligation to halt the evicitons and work in harmony with the Rapa Nui."
In recent years, tourism and migration have increased pressure to control available land on the 10 mile by 15 mile island. The Rapa Nui have increasingly taken matters into their own hands, seizing a dozen properties they claim were illegally taken from their families generations ago.
The latest media reports state additional reinforcements have landed on the island and the island's top government authority, Valparaiso Gov. Raul Celis, says "the evictions will continue."