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Perhaps the students’ biggest accomplishment has been the attention they have won worldwide, as images of empty schools and massive protests circulated worldwide for months.

That has inspired action around the region, with students in Argentina, Brazil and Colombia also taking to the streets to demand more public investment in education.

“The state should be responsible” for financing education, said Juan Sebastian Lopez, 24, a law student at the private Universidad Externado in Bogota, Colombia. “Our fear is that it will become like it is in Chile.”

As part of their long-term strategy, Chilean students have shifted away from protests and are instead lobbying the ruling party and center-left opposition in Congress to implement their demands.