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Rapanui: UBCIC Condemns Chilean Government's Attack

Rapanui: UBCIC Condemns Chilean Government's Attack On Unarmed Rapa Nui

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The Chilean government, and most recently the Canadian government, adopted the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples within the bounds of their legal and constitutional frameworks. The Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was adopted by Chile and 143 States at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2007. Yesterday, December 3, 2010, after months of relatively peaceful reoccupation of their lands, Chilean troops opened fire on unarmed Rapa Nui (Easter Island) People.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs stated “What the Chilean government did was ugly, unbelievable and reprehensible. We as Indigenous Peoples must condemn the Chilean government for these unacceptable acts of violence and brutality. The UBCIC supports the Rapa Nui People protecting their lands, their island and their archaeological treasure, the Moai. Chile's President Sebastian Pinera must be directly involved to resolve this growing crisis."

As many as 50,000 tourists travel each year to see the Moai - huge stone heads carved by the Rapa Nui's ancestors. In recent years, tourism and migration have increased pressure to control available land on the 10 mile by 15 mile island, and the Rapa Nui have increasingly taken matters into their own hands, seizing a dozen properties they said were illegally taken from their families generations ago. The latest media reports state additional reinforcements have landed on the island and Chile's Interior Minister stating they will continue "evicting" Rapa Nui People.

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