Chile fires mining regulators over mine collapse

Chile fired several regulators who gave permission to the San Esteban mine to reopen after it had been shut for safety reasons. The mine reopened two years ago and then a week ago it caved in, trapping or killing 33 workers. So far rescue efforts have been in vain.

President Sebastian Piñera went on TV and said he had requested the resignations (story in Spanish from La Tercera) of the head of the mining & geology service, the mining subdirector and the regional director for Atacama.

As a habitually cynical and negative person, always seeking the dark cloud around any silver lining, I find this move frustrating. It seems like a perfectly reasonable thing to do, and will probably help improve mine safety in the world’s biggest copper-producing country. Please, help me figure out how this shows that Piñera is really a crypto-fascist standing up for the companies against the state. Or something. Help.

3 thoughts on “Chile fires mining regulators over mine collapse

    1. sapitosetty Post author

      Hi Nell, Great to see you here. Nope, they got rid of three people and as far as I know all go back to the last administration. One of them was quoted in the press today saying that there was no way for him to do his job well as he had 2 inspectors for 2,000 known active mines in the region, and that it takes several days to do a proper inspection. He said he got the job in November and felt it was a bit unfair to get fired over this, but that he didn’t want to make a “polemic” out of it in the middle of the crisis. Seems like a fair response.

      1. Nell

        Thanks for the prompt and reply and welcome. I’m with you, then; hard to see how this isn’t a correct and praiseworthy response by the new administration.

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