We are Rapanui

We are Rapanui, Rapa Nui is Moana Nui. The recent success of the Hitorangi clan in Rapa Nui over the Scheiss family and Transoceanica Holding, the corporation that recently and forcefully evicted the Hitorangi family for reoccupying their land is good news.  It is just a skirmish in the big picture, however, and not a full resolve of the current land struggle that has been going on in Rapa Nui for the last several years. The history of Chile’s colonial attachment to Rapa Nui is not untypical of the history of colonialism. In 1888, the Chilean navy fraudulently claimed Rapa Nui through an alleged “treaty” written in two separate versions.  For many years it was leased to a sheep herding company which destroyed the vegetation on the island, and abused the Rapanui population.  By 1966, Chile created the “Easter Island Law” codifying that only Rapanui can purchase land on the island and restricted leasing was permitted to non-Rapanui. In 1946, when Chile ratified the UN Charter, Rapa Nui should have been placed on the list of Non-Self-Governing Territories to be prepared for decolonization, as the other administering powers like Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, the Netherlands, New Zealand, the U.K. and the U.S. had done.  Although to this date, not all of those territories are self-governing– Tahiti, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, being contested examples– most of the original 74 territories listed in 1946, have since been removed from the list, with most of them attaining some form of self-governance. There are currently 16 Non-Self Governing Territories transmitting information under Article 73 e of the United Nations Charter, including Gibraltar, New Caledonia, Western Sahara, American Samoa, Anguilla, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Guam, Montserrat, Pitcairn, Saint Helena, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States Virgin Islands, Tokelau, and the Falkland Islands (Malvinas). For decolonization to occur, the U.N. General Assembly would need to vote upon Rapa Nui status. Perhaps it is time for the U.N. Decolonization committee to begin receiving more territories to attain independence, like Rapanui, Tahiti, New Guinea, and Hawaii (which was removed as a result of a fraudulent plebiscite), as well as other territories either never having made the NSGT list, or having been fraudulently removed. Ricardo Lagos, a lawyer and economist, was President of Chile (2000-2006), and in 2007 he became special envoy on Climate Change for the U.N. Sec-Gen, Ban Ki-moon. In 2005, President Lagos signed the Trans-Pacific Strategic Economic Partnership Agreement (TPPA4), with New Zealand, Singapore and Brunei. which was an early “pathfinder” for what is ultimately being initiated as a 2011 Free Trade Area of the Asia Pacific, that currently includes Australia, Vietnam, the United States and will possibly include Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, and Japan. In 2005, President Lagos also illegally sold Rapanui land to the Transoceanica Holding Administration which includes not only hotels, resorts and spas, but also banks, finance and investment firms, housing developments, shipping, ports, entertainment, agriculture, and more; here are a few:

1. Banco Internacional, a bank. 2. Compañía Sudamericana de Vapores S.A. (CSAV), one of the oldest navigation companies in the planet 3. Prospéritas Capital Partners provides direct access to Risk Capital financing, services or managing consulting and financing services for entrepreneurs. 4. Mellafe y salas Integrates Integrates products and technology services 5. Fondo de Inversion Magallanes a fund targets investment in Chilean businesses that are inserted in dynamic economic areas and with a growth projection. 6.  Lo Vicuña & Cia. is a business with a project targeted to the development and production of medicinal herbs and by-products, like specific raw materials for the alimentary business , natural extracts and cosmetics.7. Malteria Oriental, company invloved with production and trad of Malt and Barley. 8. Alto Atacma desert lodge and spa 9. Puyehue wellness and spa 10. Puyehue Mineral Water 11.. Los Litres developers homes/properties 12. Punta de Aguilas Norte developers of homes and properties 13.Termas Aguas Calientes.  National Park, hot water spas 14. Kross Beers 15. Hangaroa Eco-Village and Spa 16 Teatro del Lago Theater 17. Antarctic Dream Eco-Tourist Cruise Ship 18.  Cottage Hotels in Uruguay and soon Mexico 19. Muelles de Penco a Port company in the 8th region of Chile specializing in loading and unloading storage packaging and mixing fertilizers and other services for bulk products.20. Oleotop Company dedicated to the production of raps oil for the salmon and human alimentation industry. 21.Fernandez Woods Golf, a golf course development, and others.
Upon looking at the websites of these companies, what is interesting– besides the varied and complementary industries– is how all of these companies are cloaked in eco-friendly descriptions as if there was an intertwining connection between Transoceanica’s *special* environmentally conscientious vision and the U.N. Special Envoy to Climate Change, Ricardo Lagos Escobar, who established the Fundación Democracia y Desarrollo (Foundation for Democracy and Development), of which he is President.  The organization is dedicated to creating sustainable economic growth and development. The present victory of the Hitorangi clan which is a result of the Chilean Appeals Court suspending the Schiess family’s claim of title over the Hanga Roa is not likely over.  The court still needs to make a decision and Tranoceanica has filed a counter-claim.  Tranoceanica could drag this through the court system for years, completely draining the financial resources of the Hitrangi family.  What we do know, however, is that without the Indian Law Resource Center; the mobilization and organization of Pacific peoples; the joint participation of Senator Akaka and Congressman Faleomavaega; the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, James Anaya; the Statement by Amnesty International, and all the other groups; as well as donations of money and efforts by individuals; and most importantly, the inspirational resistance, strength and courage of the unarmed Ma’ohi of Rapa Nui in the face of armed Chilean police and military, the Transoceanica Holding Company would likely have gotten their way. But as mentioned earlier, this fight is far from over. This fight will continue. It may be waged over land title and the Hanga Roa hotel, or it may be for mining rights, tourism, medicinal herb production, any number of commercial industries over land, water, or resources that violate the Rapanui’s stewardship over their assets and traditional resources, of which it is their right to protect from environmental degradation and resource depletion. In addition, with the signing of the TPP, international free trade laws can make things infinitely more difficult for Rapanui to protect itself since the Chilean government may find itself in the  position where protectionary biases or regulations of air space or water rights over Rapa Nui, might be contested as a violation of trade laws. This would certainly open Rapa Nui to larger transnational corporations where Chilean law may find itself insufficient of properly challenging the international trade regime. Unfortunately, this also applies to all of Moana Nui. Rapa Nui is Moana Nui. We are Rapanui.]]>

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