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Students clash with police in Chilean cities

Students clash with police in Chilean cities

Thousands of high school students threw rocks and clashed with police in a one-day strike that organizers called a "warning" to Chilean President Michelle Bachelet to speed up promised reforms closing a wide educational gap between rich and poor regions.
Police used water cannons to disperse about 2,000 students who took to the streets Wednesday in the capital and other cities. Deputy Interior Minister Felipe Harboe said 291 students were arrested - 237 in Santiago - though most were released after police confirmed their identities.
The nationwide strike appeared to have ample support Wednesday, but the protests were smaller and less organized than similar demonstrations in May and June that shook Bachelet's leftist government. Those protests, joined by up to 700,000 students, ended only after Bachelet agreed to meet most of the students' demands, including eliminating a fee for a college entry exam for 167,000 students and providing school meals to 200,000.
Bachelet also appointed an advisory panel with 72 members, including students, to review the education law created by the 1973-1990 dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet. The law transferred responsibility for education to municipalities, which critics say produces a deep gap in funding and education quality between rich and poor parts of the country.
Students have grown impatient with what they consider slow progress toward changing the law. The panel "is good for nothing," Mellado said.


Updated : 2021-10-19 10:30 GMT+08:00