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Chile’s New President Already Facing Student Protests

LADB Article ID: 80579
Category/Department: Chile
Date: 2018-04-27
By: Benjamin Witte-Lebhar

A month-and-a-half into his return as president, Sebastián Piñera—a billionaire businessman and political conservative who first led Chile from 2010-2014—is already on a collision course, it appears, with a familiar adversary: fired up student protestors.Under the banner “Chile ya decidió” (Chile already decided), the influential Confederación de Estudiantes de Chile (Confederation of Chilean Students, CONFECH) and its partner organizations held a major demonstration on April 19 in downtown Santiago. Student groups said that approximately 120,000 people turned out for the event. The office of the intendente (appointed regional governor) for the greater Santiago area estimated the crowd size at just 30,000. It also reported that police made 180 arrests and that one student suffered serious injury after being hit by a police vehicle. The march drew inevitable––albeit premature––comparisons to the wave of student protests that washed over the country starting in 2011, during Piñera’s previous presidency.

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