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Chile: Education International condemns political and military repression of anti-austerity protests

Education International calls on the government of Chile to immediately cease all aggression, suspend the state of emergency in all cities, and open avenues of dialogue with citizens in order to ensure conflict resolution.

David Edwards, Education International General Secretary, stated: “Declaring a state of emergency that suspends people’s rights and deploying soldiers in cities is wholly unacceptable. The government of Chile must immediately stop the repression, remove the military from the streets and begin to address people’s legitimate concerns over the never-ending austerity measures. We stand in solidarity with our colleagues and with all Chileans.”

Chile is one of the wealthiest countries in the region but also one of the most unequal. While the gap between rich and poor in Chile is the worst in the OECD, the government continues to implement austerity measures that undermine public services like education and healthcare. In response to the public protests, the Piñera administration imposed a state of emergency, with over 10,000 soldiers and police in the streets and more than 1,400 arrests. The violence has already led to a number of deaths. Forty-two education districts have been closed in the capital.

The Education International Regional Committee for Latin America issued an official statement to “express solidarity with the people of Chile and condemn the military deployment and brutal repression taking place since President Sebastián Piñera declared the state of emergency.”

Read the full statement of the Education International Regional Committee for Latin America here (in Spanish).