Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. Latin American Studies Program


Ben W. Fallaw

Second Advisor

Patrice Franko

Third Advisor

Ariel Armony


Through exploration and analysis of economic, historical and political factors stemming from the authoritarian period (1973-1990) to the present day, this project offers an interdisciplinary explanation of the emergence of the "Penguin's Revolution" in Chile. In May-June 2006, 700,000 high school students paralyzed the Chilean education system by protesting in the streets, taking over schools and not attending classes. Students organized under the Coordinating Assembly of Secondary Students (ACES) demanded that the government take responsibility for providing universal high quality and equal education. The roots of student discontent lie in the multi-dimensional education crisis, generated by the semi-privatized, decentralized educational system created by Augusto Pinochet in 1980 and the failure of subsequent democratic administrations to alter the model. A breakdown of the government's response to the student movement will also be presented along with implications for the future.


social protest, student activism, authoritarianism, socioeconomic inequality

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