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"The Guardian" readers vote Chile's student leader "Person of the Year"

Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 01:19

Dec. 20 - Chilean student leader Camila Vallejo is named ''Person of the Year'' after winning a landslide vote conducted by ''The Guardian'' readers. Don Pessin reports

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With an astonishing 78 percent of the vote, readers of the British daily, "The Guardian" chose Chilean student leader Camila Vallejo as this year's "Person of Year". Starting back in May, Vallejo has been fundamental in leading massive student rallies demanding the government guarantee free and quality public education. The students say the education system is profit-motivated, and of a poor standard. At a news conference on Monday, Vallejo said being recognized by the British paper is evidence the world is taking notice of the students' message. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) STUDENT LEADER WHO LED STUDENT PROTESTS IN CHILE AND FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERATION OF CHILEAN STUDENTS, CAMILA VALLEJO, SAYING: "This shows that the fight of the social movement for education in Chile is recognized around the world. It [the world] has taken it on as its own, and hopefully it can be an example for other struggles throughout the entire world. I think that's what the recognition "The Guardian" has made is about. True, to me, but it isn't exactly about me as a person, but instead the movement that took shape in Chile." Vallejo was chosen by readers of the Guardian ahead of Mohammed Bouazizi, the Tunisian vegetable seller whose self-immolation set off a wave of revolts around the Arab world, and other notables such as German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who garnered just 1.2 percent of the vote. Don Pessin, Reuters

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"The Guardian" readers vote Chile's student leader "Person of the Year"

Wednesday, December 21, 2011 - 01:19