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Two protesting students shot dead in Valparaiso, Chile

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By Euronews
Two protesting students shot dead in Valparaiso, Chile

Protesters were back on the streets of Chile on Thursday demanding education reforms.

Police used tear gas and water canon to disperse as many as 150,000 demonstrating teachers and students in Santiago.

Around 100 kilometers west of the capital, two students were killed in Valparaiso amid nationwide protests.

Local media reported the pair were gunned down by the owner of a shop as they tried to hang a banner outside his business.

Police said the students were aged 18 and 24.

AFP reported the gunman was arrested.

Chile’s government has been discussing free and quality third-level education but many worry not enough funds have been set aside.

Protesters want the education ministry to be more transparent about the financing which they say should bypass local governments.

“What we are demanding is that education be taken from the municipalities and that it come directly from the state [national government] so that funding is done in a direct and baseline way. This means we ensure the funding at the start of the year to guarantee that public, free and quality education is also a reality as far as the finance system which is put ahead of the Chilean educational system, given the amount of inequality that exists in the (Chilean) population,” a spokesperson of the student group The National Coordinator of Secondary Students, Ricardo Paredes.