Chilean Student Leaders Win Human Rights Award

Speaking of student movements and protests, Chilean student leaders Camila Vallejo and Noam Titleman were awarded the International Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Award from Washington DC’s Institute for Policy Studies. The two were announced winners of the award, named after the Chilean diplomat and his American aide whom the Pinochet regime killed in a car bomb in Washington DC in 1976 (a terrorist attack on US soil from a country the US supported at the time), based upon “their ideas – ideas toward true democracy and changing the system so that it works for the many, not just the few.”  In the wake of the announcement, the two student leaders sat down for an interview with Democracy Now for an interview. Though not given much time, they provided a cogent (albeit brief) discussion of the ways in which the privatization of education under Pinochet have had detrimental long-term causes and explained in part why this finally culminated in protests last year, in the process showing the struggles facing students not just in Chile but throughout the hemisphere and demonstrating how student protests and mobilizations can shape society.

About Colin M. Snider

I have a Ph.D. in history, specializing in Latin American History and Comparative Indigenous History. My dissertation focused on Brazil. Beyond Latin America generally, I'm particularly interested in class identities, military politics, human rights, labor, education, music, and nation. I can be found on Twitter at @ColinMSnider.
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