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Chile: Santiago prosecutor to investigate schools over child sex abuse claims

Prosecutors in Chile are investigating 61 schools in the capital, Santiago, over allegations that pupils were sexually abused.

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A recording of the children show "31 minutos" (31 minutes) in Santiago, Chile, on July 13, 2012. (FRANCESCO DEGASPERI/AFP/Getty Images)

Chilean prosecutors are investigating 61 schools in Santiago, the capital, over allegations that students were sexually abused.

According to the Associated Press, several teachers have recently been accused of sexually molesting children at schools in the affluent eastern portion of Santiago.

Meanwhile, there were also reports of an increase in child sex abuse in day care centers in Santiago, BBC reported.

BBC cited the National Prosecuting Authority as saying complaints of sexual abuse of children under age 14 jumped 22 percent in the first half of 2012.

Attorney general Sabas Chahuan announced Friday that he would investigate 49 schools in eastern Santiago and 12 in the city's west.

The announcement came after Chilean President Sebastian Pinera made public a raft of measures to combat child sex abuse.

On Wednesday, Pinera also announced that a database of those convicted of sexually abusing minors or of child pornography offenses would be up and running in August.

And a new law was passed last month banning convicted pedophiles from working near children.

"Wherever there are children, we will investigate just the same as we do with corruption or economic crimes," the AP quoted Chahuan as saying.

"We put ourselves in the place of the parents and we know they’re worried, anxious and desperate."

According to The Guardian, Chile — with its predominantly Roman Catholic population — is one of South America's most conservative nations.

It remained so despite a recent slew of scandals in which priests were accused of molesting children.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/chile/120721/santiago-chile-child-sex-abuse-pornography-molestation