23 Aug 2010

Easter Islanders desperate for their rights to be recognised by Chile

1:59 pm on 23 August 2010

An academic specialising in Easter Island affairs says the indigenous people of the Chilean island remain desperate for some recognition of their basic rights.

The comment from Hawaii-based anthropologist and political scientist, Forrest Young, comes after an occupation of government buildings on Easter Island by a group of indigenous people.

The group, which claims that Chile has unlawfully controlled Easter Island since the 1880s, was removed from the building by Chilean troops last week.

Until recently, Mr Young lived for a year and a half with many of the islanders, who occupied the buildings.

He says they remain unhappy with Chilean rule.

"It's a real crisis for them and they've been really resisting at key points for a hundred years. Chile promises various changes but I don't think really any significant major reform has occurred, and that's what this recent resistance is about."

Forrest Young