June 19, 2013
Chilean police arrest 139 students amid school protests
Chilean police stormed today three schools in the centre of Santiago, overtaken by students for the past week, and arrested 139 young people who were involved in the protests demanding education reform.
A large group of police officers evacuated Darío Salas School, Miguel de Cevantes and Confederación Suiza School this morning in the Chilean capital, after they had been overtaken for a week. The evacuation was ordered by Santiago Mayor Pablo Zalaquett.
Thirty-two of the young people were arrested at Liceo Cervantes School, while the other 41 were detained at Darío Salas amid clashes with police officers and students, who resisted the evacuation after the week-long sit-in that had begun peacefully.
The evacuations were ordered by Zalaquett after a failed meeting with the student’s representatives.
“All of the evacuation operatives have been carried out. I would have liked for there not to have been arrests. All of the chances to get out of the situation in a peaceful way were given. Unfortunately the students chose to not take them and resisted force,” Zalaquett told a local radio station.
The students continue to protest because they consider their demands for reform in the Chilean education system have not been heard by Sebastián Piñera’s government.
The demands began last year where more than 40 marches and brash clashes with police, through the centre of Santiago were carried out with almost a hundred schools being taken over for a number of months.