Followup on Chile miners finds misery

60 minutes says 32 of the 33 rescued Chilean miners are suffering psychological problems. The correspondent tells a smugly smiling President Sebastian Piñera that the workers feel forgotten, in this very good clip. “That’s part of life,” Piñera says.

Meanwhile, the same journalist who put together that piece, Jonathan Franklin, also has a book out. The British press has this tasteful story about pot, blow-up dolls and porn.

Meanwhile, the bigger story is that Chile, along with the rest of the region, remains a dangerous place to work, with lousy pay for long hours in often hellish environments. “That’s part of life,” Piñera says. Someone else’s life.

3 thoughts on “Followup on Chile miners finds misery

  1. Juan Cristobal

    I haven’t been following this story very closely, but I don’t see what exactly you’re criticizing Piñera for. Are the miners’ psychological problems now a state issue? Is the President of Chile now responsible for the well-being of the 33?

    Seems like Piñera was alluding to the letdown that comes in the months following instant celebrity. In that sense, it may have been a careless comment, but he is absolutely right. That is life.

  2. sapitosetty Post author

    Thanks Juan, you’re right that I could elaborate more. His comment “that’s life” was indeed careless, and even heartless. You don’t tell your veterans “yes, we’ve forgotten you, get over it.” That’s not leadership. Because yes, the government is responsible for the well being of people hurt in workplace disasters, especially those whose tragedy helped Mr. Piñera gain 15 or so points in his approval ratings.

    But my main complaint isn’t about the 33 at all. It’s that Piñera promised to have “a before and an after” on workplace safety. It hasn’t happened. His workplace is safe, but many aren’t.

    1. Juan Cristobal

      But that’s a different point though. I agree that it was heartless and callous. I don’t think that he’s wrong on that, though. And the question, as I heard it, wasn’t about workers’ conditions.

      Ojo, I’m not keen on defending Piñera. It’s just that we need to be careful to mix up the personal travails of the miners and the government’s responsibility in what happens to them, with the stuff that *is* their responsibility.

      Looking forward to discussing these things over a cup of coffee in the coming weeks!

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