Chile's Bachalet responds to protests

Following May 29 protests, Chilean president Michelle Bachalet has instituted a new School Inclusion law. The protests, which disrupted heavy traffic on Santiago's main Bernardo O'Higgins avenue stemmed from students' disappointment with the current attempts at education reform and affordability, which many believe to be below what Bachalet promised in the campaign that won her reelection in 2013.

The School Inclusion program will, according to Bachalet, allow 9 of 10 Chilean students to study for free by 2018, thanks in part to a 250 million peso (about $400,477) investment in state schools. While many Chileans are still unsatisfied with the level of reform seen after the first full year of Bachalet's second term (her first term ran from 2006-2010), the program can no doubt be seen as a reaction to the violent protests in Santiago and the hospitalization of Rodrigo Avilés after a May 21 protest in Valparaiso, a nearby city. Bachalet has come under heavy fire of late due to the stalling of her promised reforms, and her popularity rating has plummeted to an all-time low 29 per cent.

More information can be found at the Buenos Aires Herald.

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