Rescued Chilean miners struggle to rebuild their lives

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Rescued Chilean miners struggle to rebuild their lives

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A year ago their lives were celebrated around the world – today many of them say they have been forgotten.

Today is the first anniversary of the rescue of 33 Chilean miners, who were trapped underground for an incredible 69 days.

At the time they were promised they would be taken care of for the rest of their lives, with gifts, financial help, as well as book and film deals.

That has not materialised though: half of them are now unemployed.

One of the men, Davio Segovia, said: “I am a miner who had misfortune, who has had a very bad time of it. And there is no money, at least I don’t have any money. What I do have is the will to work and to get ahead, which is all I have with my family.”

Only four of the men still work as miners and others struggle financially with small jobs.

Another man who was rescued, Omar Reygadas, said: “Sometimes I feel misunderstood, sometimes – in some way – a bit insulted by people who think we are loaded with money, when that isn’t the case.”

Many of the men say they are also struggling psychologically.

After being criticised, the Chilean government now pays pensions to about 14 of the men, but the sum is said to be less than half of what they earned as miners.