Hundreds arrested, dozens injured in Chilean student protests

August 11th, 2011 - 1:38 am ICT by BNO News  

SANTIAGO (BNO NEWS) — Nearly 400 people have been arrested and dozens have been injured as tens of thousands protested across Chile on Tuesday, the government said on Wednesday.

Deputy Interior Minister Rodrigo Ubilla said a total of 396 people were arrested across the country on Tuesday after hundreds of thousands of people protested against the government of President Sebastian PiƱera. At least 55 police officers and 23 civilians were also injured during the demonstrations, the La Tercera newspaper reported.

Students, teachers and other education workers have participated in massive demonstrations in the last several weeks, demanding more government funding and a fundamental change in the educational system. After Tuesday’s protest, which was considered one of the largest demonstrations in the country’s political history since the end of the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990), Ubilla reiterated his call for the organizers of the protests to establish a dialogue to reach an agreement on education.

At least 874 people were arrested last week during similar protests across the country. Chilean students have been protesting to demand an end to privatized education in the country and ask for a government that can guarantee full access, quality and funding of public education at all its levels.

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