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Montevideo, October 19th 2018 - 17:58 UTC

Chile planning to limit migration to Easter Island

Monday, August 8th 2005 - 21:00 UTC
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The Chilean government is considering limiting migration to the world famous archaeological Easter Island with the purpose of stopping the indigenous population from being overrun by people from “overseas”.

According to BBC reports the initiative is part of a broader proposal for the administration of the island including greater local decision-making, better transport and a new commission to try and preserve the local culture.

Easter island is 3,700 kilometres from the Pacific coast of South America and has been part of Chile since 1888.

However the bill drafted does not propose autonomy for the island and some indigenous population have criticized it for not going far enough. But there's strong support to limit migration from the mainland by introducing rules of residency.

Some 4,000 people live in the island and about 1,800 are of the Rapa Nui community linked to the original inhabitants, with the rest mostly from mainland Chile. Currently any Chilean can live there but is banned from purchasing land.

Members of the Rapa Nui community feel they are being overrun and losing their culture, particularly their language.

Erity Teave belonging to a group pushing for full autonomy said the only major change in the package was "the limit on migration".

However Nicholas Haoa, believes Easter island must retain economic links with Chile to survive and is happy "the government if finally looking our way".

Categories: Mercosur.

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