Chilean mine disaster bosses get away scot-free

This video says about itself:

Aug 1, 2011

In 2010 the story of the 33 Chilean miners trapped in a collapsed mine caught the imagination of people around the world. Despite the excitement and emotion, the impoverished mine workers who were not trapped are being easily forgotten by the international media.

Since being trapped, the 33 miners have become celebrities with every development of their story being followed by millions around the world. For many Chileans the plight of the miners has also been an inspiration: “I am very proud of my country… hooray for the Chilean miners!” While the miners and their families receive legal advice, psychological support and briefings with politicians, those not trapped by the disaster are being been completely ignored by Chile’s government and the international media.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Mine collapse owners get away scot-free

Friday 02 August 2013

The 33 Chilean miners who spent more than two months trapped underground in 2010 were furious today after prosecutors decided no-one was to blame for their plight.

The miners captured the world’s attention, making a 48-hour store of food last 17 days before rescuers finally found signs of life in the San Jose mine under the Atacama desert.

Rescuers were able to pass food and water to the trapped miners but it was still days before they could drill a hole big enough to pull the men to safety through 2,000 feet of rock.

After three years of investigating, a Atacama prosecutor quietly announced on Wednesday night that neither mine owners Alejandro Bohn and Marcelo Kemmeny nor the industry regulator had done anything wrong.

“This is a disgrace to Chile’s justice system,” miner Mario Sepulveda told news agency AP.

“It’s impossible that in an accident of this magnitude no-one is held responsible. Today, I want to dig a deep hole and bury myself again – only this time, I don’t want anybody to find me.”

Lawyer Renato Prenafeta, who represents 31 of the miners, said he would review the decision.

“Most of the people I represent are still suffering from serious psychological consequences.

“Many can’t even work.”

Unemployed miner Omar Reygadas explained that bosses wouldn’t hire them because of the press attention it would attract if there was a problem.

A congressional hearing in 2011 found the mine owners responsible.

Laurence Golborne, who was mining minister at the time, said regulators had ordered the owners of the 121-year-old mine to build an emergency exit, but they didn’t comply.

The miners still have an outstanding lawsuit for negligence against the regulators.

They argue the National Service of Geology and Mining failed to inspect working conditions and mine safety, seeking reparations of £330,000.

The tragedy drew attention to Chile’s dangerous mining industry.

The 33: A drama of the 2010 Chilean mine disaster: here.

8 thoughts on “Chilean mine disaster bosses get away scot-free

  1. This is utterly appalling. That a miner who has suffered such a trauma can’t be re-employed by the mining company in case of the attendant publicity. Shame. Shame. Shame. Who are the shareholders in such businesses???


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