Riot police, students clash in Chile

Chilean students clash with riot police during a protest in the capital Santiago, on March 28, 2013.

Clashes have broken out in the Chilean capital city of Santiago between riot police and thousands of students protesting against the Latin American nation’s public education system.

On Thursday, some 25,000 Chilean students took to the streets of the capital where they called for high-quality and free education.

“We are going to continue marching for free and high quality education,” said a high school student during the protest rally.

Reports say that police used tear gas and water cannons to disperse the crowd, who responded by throwing rocks and other projectiles.

According to a statement released by a high school student spokesperson Elosia Gonzalez “Today we are marching because we believe that there is a root to the problem here, it’s a structural problem in the system.”

“We will continue to see the closure of universities and schools,” Gonzalez added.

Following the protest rally, Interior Minister Andres Chadwick said that “… a group of students feels they have the right to create disorder, damage property, interrupt the traffic and generate violence in Santiago.”

For more than a year, Chilean students have been engaged in spirited protests, calling for a free and universal education system.