Thursday, December 16, 2010

[pima.nius] Chilean 'thuggery' on Rapa Nui - some parliamentarian responses

10:08 AM |

Chilean 'thuggery' on Rapa Nui - some parliamentarian responses


A Rapa Nui man with a head wound in the Easter Island clash with Chilean security forces. Photo: El Mercurio de Valparaiso

Pacific Scoop

15 December, 2010

Grant McCall
While some scholars may question the division of the Pacific into Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia, there can be no doubt that the region firmly is separated linguistically into Anglonesia, Franconesia and Hispanonesia.

Hence my posts about the government thuggery on Rapa Nui at the moment. People are writing to me from Chile and I am following events as reported in the online Chilean press - in Spanish, of course.

As soon as the bloody events were known in Chile, Chilean parliamentarians rushed to condemn the heavy-handed actions by police, presided over by staunch rule of law advocate, the Minister of the Interior.

Some of their motivation may be due to scoring political points, but the ones I quote here are quite sincere and have appeared before advocating greater freedom for the Rapa Nui.

Senator Carolina Tohá, President of the "Democracy Party (PPD)" declared that the repression on Rapa Nui was typical of the current government which had sought always to enforce its opinions, rather than argue them.

Senator Juan Pablo Letelier, Socialist Party, visited Minister of the Interior Hinzpeter to declare that a government never should take measures against its own population.

Senator Letelier is president of the Latin American Commission for Human Rights (ALDHU)".

Communist Party Deputy (Congressman) Hugo Gutiérrez condemned the police actions on Rapa Nui, saying that he is going to urge his chamber to conclude an autonomy statute for the island with an eye to resolving the disputes.

Such an autonomy statute has been formulated and debated in the Chilean Congress since 2008, but yet to be enacted.

The congressman said some sources were saying that 14 police were injured during the forced removals, although no details have been published.

The congressman said in a press statement that he doubts these reports of police injuries.

Instead, there is a list of 21 Rapa Nui who were shot, two of whom are being taken to hospital on the mainland.

Follow the link posted for photographs of the injuries.

Here are the names to put to those bloodied bodies:

* Marco Antonio Tuki
* Claudio Tuki
* Pía Vargas Saavedra
* Rodolfo Hito
* Pedro Hito
* Enrique Tépano
* Benjamín Cadinali
* Teresa Tuki
* Moisés Tépano
* So Araki
* John Tuki Huke
* Mata Atan
* Manuel Riroroko
* Maori Pakarati
* Leviante Araki
* Ricardo Tépano
* Gaspar Tepihe
* Rodolfo Hito
* Sita Hito

Grant McCall is a social anthropologist and senior lecturer at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. He is the author of Rapanui: Tradition and Survival on Easwter Island.

Photos of the Rapa Nui wounded 'heroes'

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