Chile calls up 57,000 for military draft

Soldiers in the village of Rininahue in southern Chile, on June 5, 2011.</p>

Soldiers in the village of Rininahue in southern Chile, on June 5, 2011.

Chile is calling up nearly 57,000 18-year-olds for potential military duty to fill empty spaces in the armed forces.

The military said the nationwide student protests are to blame for the low number of volunteers who signed up to serve in 2012, reports Terra.

Military service is compulsory, but priority is given to volunteers. Usually the military gets enough volunteers to avoid a draft.

So far this year, 14,127 volunteers have signed up, but the military said it needs a larger pool to draw on, since many candidates don't make it through the selection process.

It needs to fill 11,340 slots.