June 17 - Student protesters and police clash during demonstrations over education reform in Santiago. Rough Cut(no reporter narration).
(ROUGH CUT ONLY, NO REPORTER TRACK) Chilean police and students clashed after tens of thousands of students marched in Chile's capital and main cities on Thursday (June 16), the latest in a series of protests against the government's legislative agenda. Carrying posters and banners, students demanded improved education standards, lower university fees and cheaper bus passes from Chile's center-right government. The protesters -- estimated by police at around 70,000 in the capital alone -- marched in one of the biggest rallies since President Sebastian Piñera took office in 2001. With hoods and T-shirts pulled over their faces, some students threw rocks at armored police vans that spewed tear gas in the capital Santiago. Police responded with more tear gas and water cannon that fired at students. As Congress negotiates education reforms, the government of billionaire Piñera is sending it components of a reform package as separate bills, hoping it will speed up their passage. It has already submitted bills that regulate derivatives, as well as the use of insurance contracts. It will likely struggle to push through a plan to eliminate a 7 percent health contribution by pensioners, post-natal legislation and education reforms. Conservative Piñera took power in March 2010, pushing a raft of labor, health, energy, electoral and environmental reforms, although his first year was consumed with reconstruction after a massive quake in February 2010.