July 6 - Despite a proposal for a $4 billion education fund, Chilean students take to the streets and clash with police. Travis Brecher reports.
Students protesting in Chile's capital Santiago are met with water cannons and tear gas. They're taking part in continued demonstrations over education standards and costs. Despite the heavy police crackdown, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera proposed on Tuesday a four billion dollar fund for higher education. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CHILEAN PRESIDENT SEBASTIAN PINERA, SAYING: "We are proposing the creation of an education fund totaling $4 billion that represents a true love for education." But the president of Chile's student federation called the proposal 'unilateral', and vowed to keep fighting. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) PRESIDENTOF CHILE'S STUDENT FEDERATION CAMILA VALLEJOS, SAYING: "If today, the government wants to move forward with 'grand national agreements', then today we tell them that this is no national agreement only a unilateral agreement. If there is one thing on which we can all agree on, it's that, yes, education is the mother of all struggles and for that reason we will continue fighting to the end, with more force because the government has not been able to offer an answer to this movement." Hundreds of thousands of protesters led by students have been marching throughout Chile's main cities in recent weeks, piling pressure on Pinera's center-right government. Pinera's approval rating hit a new low of 26 percent in May. The billionaire president has also been buffeted by a scandal over credit irregularities that have rocked the stock market. Travis Brecher, Reuters