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Media Mine the Miners in Chile

Media Mine the Miners in Chile
The MineThe Miners

Eneko Las Heras, born in Caracas in 1963, is a cartoonist based in Spain.  This cartoon was first published on his blog . . . Y sin embargo se mueve on 15 October 2010.  Cf. “In fact, the 33 miners over whom the media have swarmed paradoxically remain voiceless.  Neither they nor their families nor the trade union movement — historically powerful in this sector, but weakened by the dictatorship and its neoliberal reforms — has had a chance to give their own analysis of the causes of the accident.  On the outside, those who managed to escape the collapsing mine are trying to remind people that their wages have not been paid for several weeks.  ‘Stop your show, Piñera, there are 300 of us outside, too.’  They have been met with general indifference. . . .  [Despite the media’s attempt to pass off the San José miners as ‘aristocracy of labor’], given the average of 31 deaths per year (out of a total of 106,340 workers in the mine and quarries), it is hardly the most attractive working environment.  ‘”San José is a nightmare.  It was dangerous — I knew it, everyone knew it,” said one of the surviving miners.  The watchword: productivity.’ . . .  In San José, the rise in metal prices in the world market has meant an intensification of labor: a nearly systematic use of overtime (up to a 12-hour day) and a certain casual attitude toward safety.  On the day of the accident, on 4 August 2010, the 33 miners who rushed toward the ventilation shaft discovered that no ladder had been installed. . . .  Shocking?  Not at all: since 1999, accidents have multiplied” (Franck Gaudichaud, “Au Chili, derrière l’euphorie médiatique, les homes,” the La valise diplomatique section of the Le Monde diplomatique Web site, 14 October 2010).  Translation by Yoshie Furuhashi (@yoshiefuruhashi | yoshie.furuhashi [at] gmail.com).




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