Chile: [President of Teachers Union] Mario Aguilar and 38 other teachers demonstrating peacefully arrested

26.06.2019 - Santiago de Chile - Pía Figueroa

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Chile: [President of Teachers Union] Mario Aguilar and 38 other teachers demonstrating peacefully arrested
Mario Aguilar detenido

The Chilean Carabineros dissolved and repressed the teachers who were demonstrating in front of the Government Palace, in a peaceful manner headed by the President of the Union Mario Aguilar.

For a year, all of Chile’s teachers debated, analysed and ended up resolving a 12-point petition that has led them to a national strike since the Ministry has refused to solve their problems. It has been going on for several weeks.  In fact, the Minister of Education has not only refused to negotiate but also has not received the leaders to listen to their demands and has disqualified the strike arguing electoral and political motivations of Mario Aguilar.  “That is violence, that is disqualification, that is not understanding anything about the way the unions work or the internal democracy that governs us,” said the leaders of Valparaiso when interviewed today.

By force and taking them to prison, the Carabineros in Santiago dissolved this peaceful demonstration on Tuesday the 25th. Around 1:30 p.m. they finally released Mario Aguilar, but we have no confirmation that they have also released other colleagues.

Once the President of the Teachers’ Union was released, the Minister of Education has had to give in and despite the fact that she had refused during the four weeks of the strike to join the negotiating table between the two parties in conflict, she has called for tomorrow, Wednesday 26 at 9:00 a.m., Mario Aguilar and other members of the union’s board of directors.

“Now we will see if there is a real will on the part of the Teachers’ union to put an end to this strike that has brought so much damage to the most vulnerable children in public education and that they have politically extended during the last few weeks in a completely incomprehensible way,” said the Minister.

For their part, the teachers accepted the proposal of the first meeting with the Minister.  “We’re going to be there,” said Mario Aguilar.

“We hope that in that meeting the Minister of Education will bring proposals for a solution to this conflict, she knows very well what are the points of conflict, which are the points where the teachers have rejected the previous proposal made by the undersecretary,” he said.

“I hope this is a change in the policy that the government has had so far and enter a path of dialogue and search for a solution to this conflict,” said Aguilar, ruling out a possible politicisation of the teacher strike.

Translated by Pressenza London

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