19 Aug 2010

Rapa Nui protestors allege psychological warfare by Chilean police

2:36 pm on 19 August 2010

Indigenous protestors on the Chilean island of Rapa Nui or Easter Island say they're being subjected to psychological warfare by the police.

Two days ago police removed the protestors from the Governor's offices, but a New York-based Rapa Nui Islander says he's concerned for the safety of family members who are still occupying the island's hotel.

Santi Hitorangi says most of Rapa Nui's indigenous population is involved in the ongoing occupation of government and other buildings in a bid to regain control of ancestral lands and to secure autonomy from Chile.

He says a para-military unit of the Chilean police is patrolling the island and provoking the protestors.

"They're trying to create friction so we react with violence so they can then activate this anti-terror law and then be able to quell any uprising of the people."

Santi Hitorangi says the protestors are prepared to die if the Chilean government won't meet their requirements.

The government has declined to comment.