Difficult times for Chile’s Easter Island

Posted on March 14, 2011 • Filed under: Chile, Easter Island, Latin America Indigenous Issues, TRAVEL

Since August 2010, the Rapa Nui islanders have been carrying out demonstrations at various important tourist sites on the island that they claim as their ancestral lands. At the Hotel Hanga Roa, the site of a USD 50 million redevelopment project supported by Chile’s Piñera government, the Hito family—a powerful Rapa Nui clan—had been staging a six-month long “sit-in” protest. Across the Americas and beyond, onlookers have witnessed comparable struggles as indigenous groups have fought private corporations and contemptuous governments in their battle for the restoration of their land and sovereignty. Unfortunately, all too often these attempts have ended in bloody brawls and, on occasion, the loss of innocent life. Read Article

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