Police Siege on Rapa Nui

[Aboriginal News]

14 January 2011


A strong police contingent, under the orders of Chilean Attorney General, has surrounded the Hanga Roa Hotel on Easter Island and are
blocking anyone from leaving or entering.

This siege started on 13 January 2011.

Currently there is no judge assigned to hear the case of usurpation which was filed by the Hotel investors, led by Jeanette Schiess.

The Schiess are desperate to criminally charge the Hitorangi clan and commence evictions by 14 January.

Claims have been made about “other offenses” but these are not specified.

Oscar Vargas, attorney for the Hitorangi clan, said the siege is a result of an order made without authority .

He denounced the Police Chief’s order to enter the hotel, evict and arrest every member of the Hitorangi clan, including women and children.

“The alleged offenses are non-violent and under Chilean law are punishable only by a fine,” he said.

“And in this case, by virtue of the Law of Easter Island, the natural owners of the disputed land cannot be charged.

“They are trying to criminalize the Hitorangi clan so they will be forbidden to return to their ancestral land.

“With this absurd measure of duress, this a drastic infringement of the human rights of Rapa Nui including their right to life, by
preventing food and substance, and to mental integrity,” said Vargas.

Surrounded by the police, the Hitorangi Clan members are in distress.

The siege is reminiscent of the tragic events of 3 and 29 December 2010.

Both parents of two-year old twins are located inside the hotel and are being kept separate from their babies.

These actions came a day after the judge on the island, Bernado Toro, was forced to disqualify himself under claims of corruption and

The deputy judge, Jacobo Hey, also disqualified himself because of his friendly relationship with the Hitorangi clan.

The legal team of Rapa Nui managed to obtain habeas corpus protection for the family in the Court of Appeals of Valparaiso at 12:16 A.M. on
14 January.

The violence and repression on Rapa Nui are known throughout the international community, and has already drawn a statement by the UN
Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, James Anaya.

Marisol Hito, a spokeswoman for the Hitorangi clan, made an urgent appeal to the international community to pressure the Chilean
government to stop abuses against the people of Rapa Nui.

Marisol Hito: 90709947
Oscar Vargas: 76629310
Rodrigo Gómez 94960475
Santi Hito 8455965403 (English)

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