Chile Mine Tragedy Reveals Family Secrets
Macias, the wife, said that they and her mother-in-law have almost never spoken to each other in the last 6 years and there is no way she could now accept that the help and donations go to her.
Sunday was the one-month mark for the miners being stuck underground – seemingly much more than any other trapped miners have ever had to bear — and they still have to deal with more weeks or months before saving. The tension also has traumatized the failing connections in their families above. Some argue over who should get the miners’ August salary, who should share in the provided food supplies.
More measures had to be instituted by the local administration. The miners had to send up a message indicating who could get their $1,600 (800,000 peso) wage for August. Each miner has a distinct bank account, and other member of the family cannot touch it.
In order to decide who receives boxes of domestic cleaners, clothes and food donated by companies, organizations and individuals, social workers have been employed. Pamela Leiva, the chief social worker at the campground of family waiting next to the mine said that it was the only way to help resolve quarrels among family members of about half the relatives of the trapped miners.
Leiva said that there could be as many as 3 families tot think about for each miner, and they had to make inquiries about the lives of each miner in order to understand them.
Their lives, like any other life in any other family, can be intricate.
According to Leiva, there are cases of a men living for years with a partner and being still officially married to another person, as a consequence of harsh divorce regulations, and now the legal wife has come to the front to claim for the donations.
There are sisters and brothers, fathers and mothers on both sides of a trapped miner who don’t cope, or who depended on his wage to keep living, implying they can’t just hang on for months until their dear one is saved.
Obviously, some dirty secrets of some miners have come to the surface surprisingly.
Leiva said the story some witnesses related was true: The wife and lover of one miner were both staying on the alert at the campground. Once the two understood they were both yearning for the same man, they had an extremely open dispute, and the wife ripped down a picture with the miner’s photo that the mistress had put up.
The lover fixed her picture of the man back up, and beneath some prayers and poems she had written for him, she added, as if boldly: “tu Senora,” meaning “your wife.”
Obliged to specify who receives their wage, a significant sum in a state where the minimum salary is approximately $400 (200,000 pesos) a month, can put the men in a tricky condition, and restricted communications provides them with not much methods to discuss the issues with arguing relatives 2,300 feet (700 meters) above them.
Miner Claudio Yanez elected Cristina Nunez Macias, 26, his10 years-partner and mother of their 2 daughters, an 8-year-old and a toddler.
Margarita, Yanez’s mother, refused being interviewed, but Carlos Yanez, his brother, 38 years old, declared the strain had faded last week, when the two women were obliged to make up.
Yanez’s brother added they had made an arrangement on nonperishable things: until the miner gets out and is able to make a decision on who receives what, the items will be left in Cristina’s house.
Even if there were some uncomfortable secrets that came to the ground, the misfortune has as well made some families much stronger.
Maria Segovia related that a stepdaughter of Dario Segovia, her brother and trapped miner, visited the campground some day and annoyed Dario’s 3 biological children by saying local media she was his only child. Actually, she was a stepdaughter from Segovia’s preceding relationship.
After the incident, the family grew stronger and Maria said they would love her now as one of Dario’s natural children.
In spite of global interest, the miners’ economic future is vague the time and the case they come out alive.
San Esteban, the owners of the mining business, declared they may not be capable to pay salaries in September, and are thinking about insolvency.
The day after the men were found alive, entrepreneur Leonardo Farkas donated $10,000 (5 million pesos) to each miner, which have been put in the miners’ accounts, and Farkas has persuaded Chileans to contribute.
Leiva, the chief social worker, said that money donations were distributed equally among the 33 miners.
While every family is concentrated on finally holding its dear one in its arms if they come out alive, there is another profound, longer-term concern: Could the miners eventually go back to work?
Many of them might refuse to return into the mines, or may not be able to do it, because of either psychologically or physically reasons.
There are not many other options in Northern Chile, and many of the miners have not the necessary education to do anything else that is paid as well.
Leiva added the big concern is how they will survive, because they have no other jobs.11