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LatinNews Daily Report - 14 June 2013

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In Brief – Chile

POLITICS | Another student march. On 13 June the third student demonstrations of the year, organised by the main confederation of university students (Confech) against Chile’s fee paying higher education system, took place. According to the authorities, some 55,000 people took to the streets in the capital Santiago while other marches took place in other cities like Concepción, Talca, Chillán, Los Ángeles and Valparaíso. Confech, however, claims that the turnout in Santiago was more like 110,000. The local press has reported that 277 people have been arrested while 19 Carabineros were injured during the demonstrations. The issue of free education remains a key electoral concern ahead of the November 2013 general election. The latest poll by Adimark, released on 5 June, showed that education remains the worst ranked area of President Sebastián Piñera’s government, cited by as much as 25% of respondents. Meanwhile, the recently appointed education minister, Carolina Schmidt, has suffered a dramatic fall in popularity since being transferred to the post, from the women’s affairs ministry. Schmidt’s approval rating fell from 71% in April to 35% in May – once again indicating the challenges of the portfolio. The survey interviewed 1,401 people across the country between 6 May and 1 June and had a 2.6% margin of error.