Entries in Sebastian Pinera (2)


Student Protesters Continue to Riot in Chile

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(SANTIAGO, Chile) -- Hundreds have been arrested as thousands of student protesters continue to battle against riot police in Santiago, Chile, demanding reforms within the country's educational system.  

The protests -- which have been going on for weeks -- began peacefully but escalated when some protesters broke off from the crowd and began fighting police, looting and starting fires in the Chilean capital, according to BBC News.

Demonstrators say Chile's educational system lacks funding and is unfair, prompting President Sebastian Pinera, whose approval rating has recently fallen below 30 percent, to promise additional funds.

Just last week, Chilean policymakers presented a plan consisting of 21 reforms that would increase funding, improve instructor training, provide for more scholarships and address unpaid student loan debt.

Criticizing the government for not also tackling needed improvements in private education, students refused the plan.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Chilean President: Mine Will “Never Open Again” 

Photo Couirtesy - ABC News(COPIAPO, Chile) -- One day after the 33rd and final miner was rescued from that collapsed mine in Chile, the country’s president vowed that never again would Chileans be allow to work in such harsh underground conditions.

Speaking outside a hospital where the miners are being treated, Chilean President Sebastian Pinera promised a complete review of mine safety in his country, and vowed that the San Jose mine would “definitely never open again.”  The gold and copper mine collapsed on Aug. 5 and the men were discovered alive 17 days later.

Joseph Main, Assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Mine, Safety and Health Administration, says it was the most successful rescue in mining history, and there are valuable lessons to be learned.  Secretary Main said people involved in mine rescue will study the Chilean operation, although with the hope that they will never have to employ its valuable lessons.

Doctors are surprised by the overall good condition of the rescued miners, some of whom have already been discharged from the hospital.  The BBC reports several miners are receiving treatment for eye and dental problems and two have been diagnosed with the lung disease silicosis, which is common to long-term work in mine conditions.

Jonathan Franklin, who was the only journalist who was allowed to speak with the miners while they were underground, says that fistfights broke out between the miners during the first two weeks they were trapped, before they were discovered by those on the surface.  Franklin says the scuffles were between miners who wanted to attempt to climb out and others who wanted to stay put and await rescue.

Chilean President Pinera vowed to punish anyone found guilty of wrongdoing in the mine collapse, saying, “Those who are responsible will have to assume their responsibility.”  The families of 27 of the 33 miners have already filed lawsuits against the mine’s owners.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio