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Chile students call for educational reform

SANTIAGO, Chile, July 15 (UPI) -- An estimated 50,000 marchers turned out for a demonstration for educational reform in Santiago, officials said.

"The march was an excellent call to action and developed in a mostly peaceful way," Universidad Catolica Student Federation President Giorgio Jackson told The Santiago Times.

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Even so, police used tear gas to control angry elements of the crowd Thursday, eventually chasing down and arresting more than 60 people. More than 30 police officers were injured.

"Many people failed to reach the stage when they had to retreat because of the water cannons," Jackson said. "The situation does not surprise me because it's happened in the rest of the demonstrations. Despite the fact that they start in a peaceful manner, they end in repression."

Ena von Baer, a government spokesperson, denounced the violence and said the parade's leaders need to take responsibility for the hostilities.

Von Baer said constant marches, and the subsequent violence, waste time that could be spent making progress on the issue.

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