Rescued Chilean Miners face new challenges

By Ekaterina Volozova

BEIJING—(October 18, 2010 – M4relay)– The Chilean miners that had been trapped underground for more than two months might end up as celebrities, but so far they have nothing. This story had the whole world talking for the past few months, and it can truly be considered a miracle ending. Thirty-three workers were trapped underground for 50 days – the longest time in the history of trapped miners. All of the miners were rescued after being trapped and discovered alive after about 15 days in the mine.

The story was frequently covered by the media from all over the world, not only because it was the longest time in history when people were being trapped underground, but also because of the support that the miners received worldwide. The families of the trapped miners set up a camp next to the site, and many of them stayed there to the very day when their loved ones were rescued. Reuters reported that there were about 1500 journalists at the sight. Just BBC alone spent £200,000 covering the rescue of the Chilean miners

One interesting thing about the story is the stir it has caused in the media around the world. If 50 days ago these men were just regular miners, today they have, apparently, become celebrities. Each miner’s separate story has been told and retold in different popular media outlets; interviews have been published, and pictures taken. Officially, each of the miners has been given 10 thousand dollars and a vacation trip to Greece. There have been multiple offers from book publishers and movie makers. In fact, offers from movie makers began even before the last miner was pulled to the surface, reported cbc.ca. The Chile miners’ story just might make it to Hollywood soon. Many feel that the miracle story should be shown and told to the public.

The Chilean miners can literally now sell their stories to the world. However so far, they have returned to their poor homes and gang-ridden neighborhoods, and also currently have no jobs because the mining company they were working for filed for bankruptcy, reported yahoonews.com. “Three months from now, what will I be doing? Selling candy on the beach? Wondering what the government has done for us? Nothing,” said Edison Pena, one of the miners who was quoted on yahoonews.com. Despite book and movie offers, so far the miners have returned to a life of poverty.

On Saturday, seven of the miners held a news conference to plead for job training and benefits from the government. They also asked the public to respect the privacy of two of their fellow workers, Johnny Barrios and Claudio Yanez. Their stories and relationships with families were brought out into the public and are now apparently being turned into high-scale soap operas.

After two months of promises to be rich and famous, the miners are still where they were when they first got trapped underground, with their life stories exposed to the world. On one hand, the miners are getting considerable offers for their story, yet decided to say as little as possible about their ordeal while negotiating movie and book rights. “It’s true that we made a pact of silence not to speak of those topics until we think the moment has come,” miner Pablo Rojas said Sunday.

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