Police violence in Rapa Nui ( Easter Island)

Friday, 21/12/10

Ten people were wounded and three of them are in a serious condition as a result of the police violence against to a group of Rapa Nui people who demonstrated at Government Square, Hanga Roa Centre and they were ejected.

The police operation started on Wednesday 29.12.10 at 18.00 hours, the commandant Oscar Salazar was in charge and he received direct order from Raul Celis, Valparaiso Governor.

Photo of confrontation with police on Rapa Nui by Marcial Parada

In this repressive police action participated one hundred police with full armed gear against 20 unarmed, children, women and men. Eleven people were arrested. They were freed during the night. But the police kept Cristian Atan in prison – he is accused of carrying Molotov bombs by the Valparaiso Governor, charges that haven’t no foundation because nobody has been seen any bomb.

The people made a peaceful demonstration, but the police beat them.

One the victim of the police brutally was Cristian Atan who suffers kidney damage and broken shoulder. Other people who suffered the police extreme violence was Kuhi Tuki who was attacked by 15 policeman whose kicked him all over the body and beat his head, he suffered nose fracture and others serous injuries.

Another victim of the police attack was Judy Hey Brown, a Clan Hey Tuki spokesperson, and Valeria Pakarati who was thrown to the ground and kicked. She has serious injuries in one eye and in one hand. Mai Osorio suffered a jaw fracture as consequence of the police beating. Ricardo Candani, Hanga Roa Hospital Director, refused to give medical reports of the people injured to the relatives, arguing that it has to be checked by the Valparaiso Governor first.

The Rapa Nui protest started last March when the Rapa Nui Parliament occupied the Government Square, head by Leviani Aruki.

Some business people celebrated the ejection of the people by the police with champagne .

In a media interview, Marisol Hito, clan Hito spokesperson, declared:

“The Chilean government answers problems we face in Easter Island with repression. This shows the lack of capacity by this government to resolve the main problem affect to Rapa Nui people, such as the robbery of the ancestral land by tourist enterprises. The government make decisions about Easter Island without consultation with us.”

Marisol said that the Rapa Nui people have been impacted by extreme violence, the Chilean government has maltreated them; she said they have trying to have a dialogue to discuss the problems, without success.

Unfortunately Sebastian Pifiera ,the Chilean President, Rodrigo Hinzpeter, the Interior Minister, and Raul Celis, Valparaiso Governor, have refused to enter into dialogue and use the police violence against the Rapa Nui people.

Marisol explain that there has been intervention made by organizations such as Human Right National Institute, Human Rights Commission Deputies Chamber (Chile), the Senate Foreign Relations Commission have asked the Pifiera government to resolve the problems without violence Their pleas have met with no success because the Chilean government didn’t listen to them either.

The main goal of the Pifiera government is that the business people take full control of the Island and development the tourist industry, which will destroy the environment and the indigenous people’s culture.

The Rapa Nui people are standing up for the land the culture and their dignity.

They need solidarity.

Marcial Parada

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