Top Story — Vandals at a student protest in Santiago set three buses on fire Wednesday as protesters continued to demand access to free public education more than a year after conflict over education reform began in Chile. Police broke up the protest with water cannons and arrested 75 people. According to Chilean authorities, 49 police officers were injured and the number of protesters injured was not reported. Chile’s transportation ministry said that the damage to the three Transantiago mass transit system buses was estimated at about $836,000, and cell phone video footage showed that the buses were occupied by passengers when they were attacked. Meanwhile, student leaders and the Chilean government seem to be at an impasse in negotiating education reforms. ”I deeply regret what is happening today in the streets of Santiago, but the government is responsible for this because of its indolence and silence to all the proposals of the student movement,” said Gabriel Boric, president of the University of Chile student federation.
Read more from the Associated Press.
Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- A Spanish-language presidential campaign ad running in the battleground state of Nevada has criticized U.S. President Barack Obama’s record number of deportations in an effort to discredit his appeals to Latino voters.
- Roman Catholic priest Rev. Alejandro Solalinde said that his diocese in southern Mexico is increasingly assigning him parish duties to prevent him from working as an advocate for Central American migrants.
- Tropical Storm Ernesto, downgraded from hurricane status, headed toward the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday.
- Haitian Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe announced a Cabinet shake-up on Monday that will include replacing the interior minister and and foreign minister.
- Puerto Rican astronaut Yajaira Sierra Sastre will join a six-member crew in the HI-SEAS, or Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation, to test-run meals for a mission to Mars planned for 2030.
- Eighteen Cuban migrants landed on Rivera Beach in Florida Wednesday after surviving five days at sea.
- U.S. citizen Jason Puracal, who is serving a 22-year sentence in Nicaragua for drug trafficking, was granted a long-awaited appeasl hearing by Nicaraguan authorities.
- Panama will soon open a third lane in the Panama Canal to accommodate larger ships.
- Honduran gangs have begun to extort homeowners by demanding that they pay large sums of money or risk being killed.
- Bolivian authorities said that eleven people have been killed and 86 injured in one week on Bolivia’s “highway of death”, which runs through the mountainous Yungas region.
- Ericson Vargas Cardona, alias “Sebastian,” the alleged leader of the Oficina de Envigado gang in Colombia, was captured by authorities on Wednesday in Medellín.
- The Brazilian Senate approved a bill late Tuesday night approving affirmative action based on race and public school attendance in federal universities.
- The Argentine government on Monday informed stock exchanges in London, New York, Milan and Rome of “illegal” drilling for oil off the coast of the Falkland Islands, where Argentina claims sovereignty.
Image: Periódico el Ciudadano @ Flickr.