The Conflict of Easter Island

Migration control

This issue sums up the current problems of Easter Island. Population has grown over 35% since 2002, and this density has intrinsically led to more crime, vehicles, pollution, overcrowding and bad habits. These are some of the aspects that greatly concern the islanders, since they have caused enormous impact on their quality of life.

The solutions proposed are greater migration control both for Chileans and for foreigners at Mataveri airport, raising the admission charges to the National Park, regulating the cruises that come to the island, monitoring long stay visitors, etc.

The leader of the movement “Parlamento Rapa Nui” (Rapa Nui Parliament), Mario Tuqui, said that the National Forestry Commission is not qualified to manage the island’s park and cannot control the damages caused by visitors. Although the leader acknowledges that tourism is good for the island, when it is not controlled it becomes a risk for the archaeological heritage and the inhabitants.

Migration control in islands is not something new. It was done in the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador and in the Pitcairn islands that belong to the British colony, where a maximum stay of 14 days was established for “short term” tourists.

Francisco Lira