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School's Out: Chilean Police Storms High Schools, Arrest 139

AMÉRICA ECONOMÌA, THE SANTIAGO TIMES (Chile)

Worldcrunch

SANTIAGO - A total of 139 people, most of whom were students, were arrested during the eviction of three schools in the center of Santiago, the local Chief of Police Victor Tapia told América Economìa.

The three schools (Darío Salas School, Miguel de Cervantes and Confederación Suiza School) had been occupied for a week by Chilean students fighting for reforms, including free education – demands that have not been heard by Sebastián Piñera’s government so far.

“We are here for a number of reasons,” 14-year-old Joaquín Merino told The Santiago Times. “We’re here to fight the Hinzpeter Law that would criminalize protests, we’re here to ask for free education and we’re here because the minimum wage isn’t enough to pay for education. In Chile, it’s not that the quality of education isn’t good, it’s just not available to all.”

The evacuations were ordered by Santiago Mayor Pablo Zalaquett after Thursday’s failed negociations with the student’s representatives.

Watch footage of the evictions at the Miguel de Cervantes college below.

Students refused to voluntarily leave the school premises and had to be dispersed with tear gas and water hoses, The Santiago Times reports, causing much anger among human rights associations.

Students protesting for free education met with police water cannons in #Santiago#Chilebuff.ly/OO7NJH

— Human Rights Channel (@ythumanrights) August 9, 2012

Chief of Police Victor Tapia ruled out that there had been excessive violence on part of police officers, as he told América Economìa that officers had been pelted with stones and that "the use of force was needed."

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Indigenous Women Of Ecuador Set Example For Sustainable Agriculture

In southern Ecuador, a women-led agricultural program offers valuable lessons on sustainable farming methods, but also how to end violence.

Photo of women walking in Ecuador

Women walking in Guangaje Ecuador

Camila Albuja

SARAGURO — Here in this corner of southern Ecuador, life seems to be like a mandala — everything is cleverly used in this ancestral system of circular production. But the women of Saraguro had to fight and resist to make their way of life, protecting the local water and the seeds. When weaving, the women share and take care of each other, also weaving a sense of community.

With the wrinkled tips of her fingers, Mercedes Quizhpe, an indigenous woman from the Kichwa Saraguro people, washes one by one the freshly harvested vegetables from her garden. Standing on a small bench, with her hands plunged into the strong torrent of icy water and the bone-chilling early morning breeze, she checks that each one of her vegetables is ready for fair day. Her actions hold a life of historical resistance, one that prioritizes the care of life through the defense of territory and food sovereignty.

Mercedes' way of life is also one that holds many potential lessons for how to do agriculture and tourism better.

In the province of Loja, work begins before sunrise. At 5:00 a.m., the barking of dogs, the guardians of each house, starts. There is that characteristic smell of damp earth from the morning dew. Sheep bah uninterruptedly through the day. With all this life around, the crowing of early-rising roosters doesn't sound so lonely.

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