Tag Archives: Sebastián Piñera

Santiago Marches for Sexual Diversity

2 Oct

While the Chilean education movement continues to take names, thousands participated yesterday in a March for Sexual Diversity.

For a country that is in theory still shaking off its conservative politics, ties to the church and the legacy of a ruthless dictatorship, they sure know how to lure people into the streets:

La educación en Chile, problemas de naturaleza y financiamiento

21 Aug

 

Una interesante discusión en la televisión chilena entre dos economistas, donde explican con mucha claridad el sistema educativo chileno desde el punto de vista de su financiamiento. Este video es francamente imperdible, para entender qué sucede en Chile, es necesario verlo. Una explicación muy académica, pero a la vez sencilla donde se aborda el denominado lucro a profanidad.

Cuanto cuesta estudiar en Chile?????

21 Aug

Según El País, los aranceles universitarios chilenos son los más caros luego de los de Estados Unidos, es decir, Chile es el segundo país que más les cobra a sus jóvenes por tener una carrera universitaria. La pregunta es, entonces, ¿es proporcional a la calidad? o sea ¿Son las universidades chilenas aquellas que le otorgan mayores beneficios académicos y profesionales futuros a sus estudiantes?

Al Jazeera: Are the Chilean Miners Still Trapped?

19 Aug

“The rescue operation was excellent. But the circumstances that led to it were an assault on the worker’s lives.”

One year after the world was fed a disney fairy tale ending of the 33 miners trapped underground near Copiapó, Chile, Al Jazeera has some of the best reporting on the event to date. If you can bare Al Jazeera’s Lucia Newman’s Christiane Amanpour impersonation this is definitely worth watching.

 

Oh…Only About 10,000 More Victims of the Pinochet Dictatorship

18 Aug

A Human Rights commission in Chile has determined that there were… oh…only 10,000 more victims of the Pinochet regime than originally thought.

That brings the total number of individuals who were jailed and tortured regime to over 40,000. All of these new victims had been, according to the BBC: 

  • Detained and/or tortured for political reasons by agents of the state or people at its service
  • Victims of forced disappearances or been executed for political reasons by agents of the state or people at its service
  • Been kidnapped or been the victims of assassination attempts for political reasons.
President Piñera received the new report at La Moneda. This one has to be awkward – Thank you for this report that will contribute to Peace and Justice in Chile. And yes, I will continue to uphold the dictator’s education policy. There were more protests today – 100,000 people were reported marching in Santiago. ( The Washington Post seems to be the only major newspaper en el norte covering the story)

 

CNN Chile has coverage of today’s student leader Camila Vallejo Dowling dubbing today’s protest the Marcha de las Paraguas (March of the Umbrellas):

 

 

“I Study to Learn and to Change My Country… But Not Like This, Not With a Covered Face…”

14 Aug

As students in Chile continue to protest and demand quality and free public education, of course (as there always has been in Chile) there is a conflict over tactics. In this video – via Silvia Viñas – students prevent a group of hooded protestors from setting up a barricade and setting it aflame.  One student debates, “I study to learn and to change my country… but not like this, not with a covered face…”

 

Not that there hasn’t been a fair share of burning and looting. Still, given the recent street fights in England it is fascinating we can watch this debate from afar. This student movement has shown some serious responsibility – even using Facebook to raise funds to replace a bystander’s burned up car and showing up the day after protests to clean up the streets.

Meanwhile President Piñera, the businessman CEO who is the first right-winger to take the presidential reigns since Pinochet,  is fed up with the protests and his abysmal 26% approval rating. Speaking at a signing-ceremony for a law intended to appease the protestors he remarked, “We all want education, healthcare, and many more things for free, but I want to remind them that nothing is free in this life. Someone has to pay.”  

You elect a businessman. You get business.

And in addition to the police repression, the right has employed some meaningless and frivolous tactics against the movement – like releasing the personal information of student leader Camila Vallejo. 

The students are not having any of it. This weekend the movement  rejected dialogue with the Chilean congress and announced a new round of protests.

Meanwhile the quotable monster of Latin American journalism, Eduardo Galeano, recently chimed in  with his support for the student movement, sending his support to the “brave young people that are giving us all a lesson in dignified democracy from the streets of Chile.”

El Guanaco and the “Chilean Winter”

6 Aug
Guanaco

Image via Wikipedia

Leave it to Russian TV to capture raw footage of the Carabineros using Pinochet’s favorite method of crowd dispersion – el Guanaco (named for a spitting llama-like animal) that spews tear gas infused water.

The students continue to make their demands and to spread their message in the streets and via social networking and Youtube.

This video – in various languages and with English subtitles is from June – before the international press caught on as it has in the past few days.  Even the New York Times is following the moment, dubbing this the Chilean Winter (I guess Arab Spring is running its course and we need a new protesting ethno-national group season?)

In fairness to the New York Times, they deserve credit for some incredibly stark and sharp images from the past few days.

Personally I’m hoping for less Guanaco and more Kiss-ins… or as seen on the CBS Today Show – “a massive make-out session!”

More to come…