21 Feb 2011

Rapa Nui clan plans further legal action

3:16 pm on 21 February 2011

The Rapa Nui clan whose ancestral land claim on Chile's Easter Island has attracted international attention is planning further legal action to establish its land rights.

The Hito clan's lawyer Rodrigo Gomez says the family's shocked the developers of a luxury hotel on the disputed area have signed off on a deal with the Chilean government to give the land to a foundation to be managed by Rapa Nui people.

Chile's been admonished by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights over its treatment of indigenous people during the dispute and is on a timetable to take action to address their concerns.

But Mr Gomez says the deal is no way for the Chilean government to absolve its international responsibilities.

"We are saying that is not a solution. The only solution is to give this land to the real owners which are the Hito family. They have not been considered at all. They have been erased from the map, which is ridiculous."

Mr Gomez says the Hito clan will launch legal action next month to nullify land titles it says are illegal.