Chile: Negotiating Table to Have Hurdles

Santiago de Chile, Oct 5. -A negotiating table, paved with obstacles, will be established on Wednesday with the participation of the Chilean Government and the leadership of the social movement for a free education, who champion structural changes in the socio-political system.

Demanding a free, not-for-profit education, the first debate item of the negotiating table, should yield to the controversial Public Order Bill, which represents a Government's means to criminalize the social protest.

Spokeswoman of the Confederation of Students of Chile (CONFECH), Camila Vallejo, believes that the Executive shows very worrying signs that are "clear provocations for students".

The questioned bill, which harden criminal sanctions in the case of public disturbances and makes the occupation of schools and other social demonstrations crimes, was taken to the Chamber of Deputies on Tuesday given the Government's interest of speeding up its approval.

In case the bill is passed, it would increase sanctions for causing public disturbances with sentences that go from 541 days to three years of imprisonment.

President Sebastian Piñera noted the Government will not "shudder" because of those that occupy schools with violence" and prevent students from having classes. (Prensa Latina)