Sunday, 24 July 2011

Protests and repression in Chile

Twenty Chilean Students in Hunger Strike
Source: Prensa Latina, 21 July 2011.

Another 12 high school students joined on Thursday the eight students on hunger strike protesting the lack of response by the government to the Chilean students´ demands. The pressure measure is in line with protests staged by students and professors for the last few months, with the support of families and different social sectors demanding a high quality public education.

The students also demand that education be not-for-profit, a constitutional reform that guarantees education as a right, and a return to the State of the high schools given to the municipalities in 1986 during the Augusto Pinochet military dictatorship. According to Biobio radio station, the protest is part of the intensification of the movement that the students threatened if their demands were not met.

Chilean Mapuche Community Resume Demonstrations for Ancient Lands
Source: Prensa Latina, 20 July 2011.

Mapuches of the Temucuicui traditional community, in Ercilla village, in the Araucania region, announced on Wednesday that they will resume mobilizations to claim 1,800 hectares they consider part of their ancient lands.

Members of the community already set up camp at the private La Romana country estate, marking the start of their struggle, reported Biobio Radio. The "werken" or messenger of the Temucuicui traditional community, Mijael Carbone, confirmed the resumption of mobilizations, a decision taken in agreement with the Mapuche Territorial Alliance.

State authorities' failure to comply their commitment to solve the Mapuche's land claims prompted these indigenous people to resume their protests, he said. He said the mobilizations will continue until what they consider their ancestral lands are restored. These lands include areas in the hands of private owners and forestry enterprises

Chilean Quake Victims Protest Delayed Reconstruction
Source: Prensa Latina, 21 July 2011.

Occupants of one of the largest camps created in the Biobio region after the 2010 quake left thousands homeless continue to protest the slow pace of reconstruction.

Refugees in Molino, Dichato, a coastal town of Tome municipality, affirm that authorities are not keeping their promises. Camp dwellers blocked the route linking Dichato with Tome yesterday to attract the government's attention, Radio Biobio reported.

Very early today, after launching teargas, about 100 police using water cannons charged at demonstrators near El Molino. Demonstrators defended themselves with stones, thus leading to a new clash.

The quake and tsunami of February 2010 destroyed 80 percent of Dichato. A poll by the Corbiobio Studies Center revealed that 69.7 percent of residents from the Eighth Region believe reconstruction has taken longer than expected.