Chile: Police Crackdown On Protests As Student Leaders Call Off Talks


Today in Latin America

Top Story — Police in Chile stepped up efforts to prevent protesters for education reform from gathering in any significant numbers, after student leaders broke off talks with the government Wednesday. The student leaders cited the government’s uncompromising stance on free education as the reason for abandoning talks. In the capital of Santiago, a huge deployment of riot police used water cannons and tear gas to break up a gathering of students led by activist Camila Vallejo. Several reporters were among the injured. Vallejo said that the police reaction was unprecedented even after five months of protests and asked for Chileans to bang pots in their neighborhood in protest against the government.

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  • Argentina rejected France’s request to extradite Alfredo Astiz, an ex-military official who is currently being prosecuted in Argentina for the torture and murder of political prisoners during the Argentina’s 1976-1983 military dictatorship. Another ex-military officer, Alejandro Duret, was returned to Argentina from Chile to face his 15-year sentence.
  • A 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck northern Argentina on the Paraguayan and Bolivian borders. No injuries were reported.
  • The U.S. Energy Information Administration and U.S. geological studies reported that there are potentially large and commercially viable gas deposits in Uruguay.

Image: Alejandro Bonilla @ Flickr

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