This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

Last updated at 15:17 BST, Friday, 28 June 2013

Chile school protests


28 June 2013

The police in Chile have arrested 122 people, many of them children, in raids on 28 secondary schools that had been taken over by their pupils. The schools are due to be used as polling stations in primary elections this weekend.


Gideon Long

A masked student throws a tear gas canister

A masked student throws a tear gas canister at riot police


Click to hear the report


The police launched the raids in the early hours of the morning, clearing away chairs and tables that the pupils had used to barricade themselves inside. The students took over the schools earlier this month as part of their two-year campaign for education reform.

But on Sunday, they'll be used as polling stations. Chileans are due to elect candidates for November's presidential election. Many of those arrested in the pre-dawn raids are children and are unlikely to be charged.

The police action followed a day and night of violence in Santiago, centred around a student march. More than 100 people were arrested when the march ended in clashes between youths throwing stones and Molotov cocktails, and police, who responded with tear gas and water cannon. Ten police officers were injured.

The clashes continued overnight. Protesters set fire to a bus, gutting it completely. The violence was among the worst in Chile in two years of protests against the centre-right government of President Sebastian Piñera.


Click here to hear the vocabulary



sudden and unexpected entries into a building by police in order to arrest people


block (using a temporary structure)

education reform

changes to how and what students are taught students are taught

polling stations

places where people go to vote


before sunrise



Molotov cocktails

a simple type of bomb made with a bottle filled with petrol

gutting it

destroying the inside