Thursday, October 14, 2010

Chilean Miners: the next day

from Carlos

After the reality show - disguised as a rescue operation - is over.
After all the entertainment industry - disguised as news agencies - leaves town.
After the cunning and opportunistic politicians remove their impeccable coveralls and shinny hard hats.
After the apathetic public ceases to be interested and switches channels to watch another "Reality Show" and after this long and slender, God forsaken country ceases to be in the news, the miners will have to deal with the reality of their miserable lives....again.

Nothing have changed the day after, in the land of unfettered capitalism, perennial usury and endless profits, where the road is not paved with yellow bricks gold, but with red copper bars extracted by Canadian, Australian, American and Chilean consortium who enjoyed their ROYALTY FREE peaceful existence for the benefit of their own wealthy elites.

During their subterranean ordeal, these miners have received the medical aid and monitoring normally denied to them due to their inability to pay for those services.

Their minds, bodies and every possible health index have been examined and measured to ensure their well being: that will not happen again.....unless they can pay for those services: in the land of privatized health, if you have money you live , if you don't, you die.

Their voices - normally silenced by the mine owners, the government, and the police or by all of them combined - have been heard by millions around the world, but not for long, their return to anonymity is imminent.

Their weather beaten, common and regular humble faces have been shown to the world, in contrast with the faces of the "other" Chile, the one that drives expensive cars, travels to Miami for holidays and wear Gucci watches purchased with the money generated by the miners.

Their women folks - normally ignored and treated with scorn by the educated, lighter skinned, fragrant, well dressed well-to-do matrons - are now back to the anonymity of the poor working class: their 15 minutes of fame is over.

Has anyone asked why this accident did happen?
Why the miner's Union representatives were not allowed to be in the camp with their comrades?
Why is the Chilean Labour Code not enforced by the authorities?
Why the mining safety code is being ignored?
Why the precarious working conditions in an industry that generates so much wealth? [for the Canadian, Australian, USA and the Chilean elites]

The miners will come back to their normal routine soon and....yes, they will be forced by circumstances to work under the same conditions [or worse] just to feed their families and to full fill their assigned role in the international economy that demands cheap raw materials .....and perhaps, in a short distant future, there will be another reality show, this time in Guatemala, Indonesia, El Salvador or in other country that will have the misfortune of receiving the foreign investment curse.

Workers do not and cannot expect redemption from those who rob them of their very existence and who profit from their suffering and want. Their liberation will be the result of their own organized efforts and sacrifice to obtain the justice that has been denied for so long.

Yesterday was a day of survival and victory.
Tomorrow is a day of organizing and struggle for liberation…..

Carlos F.