July 14 - A new wave of protests over education reform in Chile as pitched battles between students and police break out. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Pitched battles between students and police usher in a new wave of protests over education reform in Chile. It's increasingly become an issue threatening the popularity of President Sebastian Pinera. These latest protests come a week after Pinera proposed a $4 billion fund for higher education and promised more grants and cheaper student loans. But student leaders say the offer is not enough. An apparent failed attempt by Pinera to stem the weeks of strikes and protests by student union groups. This is the third major protest by students in the capital this month. Police did not release an official report on the number of protesters on the ground by estimates put the number at some 20,000. The students have been joined by workers and leftist groups. Pinera, a center-right billionaire, saw his approval rating fall to 31 percent in a poll last week while he grapples with the protests. Deborah Lutterbeck, Reuters.