May 22, 2013
Chilean students meet with gov’t officials after heavy clashes
Earlier today, Chilean state television showed images of marching demonstrators clashing with the police close to the Engineering University at the countries’ capital this morning. Today’s march was called by Chiles Student Confederation (Confech).
According to accounts, students press on with the march when Carabineros police, the national force, arrived. The police responded with water trucks and tear gas. The protest culminated in several arrests and it was over before its curfew at 5 pm (GMT).
The spokeswoman for Confech Camila Vallejo estimates over 150.000 students attended the marches and criticized police for clashing with students. “Police should have controlled and guided the students and not suppressed them,” told her also referring to some confusion regarding the march’s ground itinerary.
Today’s march was the 36th demonstration since demands for an educational reform started in Chile.
Chile is undergoing a period of deep social unrest as a result of the conflict between the student movement, which demands free education, and the government of President Sebastián Piñera.
Protests and clashes with the police have been seen throughout the country for months now. Students and government officials resumed the negotiation table today. One of the students’ main demands is a significant increase of the budget destined to education in Chile.
The students are demanding far-reaching reforms of the education system that would eliminate a voucher system that supports private universities and provide free, higher quality university education at state schools.