Where is the fine line between bringing human interest into the news and invasion of privacy? As the world hungered for more of the unfolding story of Chile’s 33 trapped miners, media coverage of this tragedy with a happy ending drew its share of criticism. And now that the excitement has wound down and these guys are heading into the aftermath, I can’t help but reflect on what lies ahead for them.
President Sebastian Piñera & 33 miners in Copiapó Hospital (Photo by José Manuel de la Maza, courtesy of the Presidencia de la República de Chile)
Privacy, Human Interest, or Media Circus
I hopped into a Santiago taxi shortly before 8:00 PM on Tuesday, October 12, anxious to get home. The rescue mission was scheduled to begin, and I had 33 miners on my mind. I asked the driver about the news. And, as often happens when I talk with cabbies, he gave me something to think about. Continue reading
12:15 AM Miner Florencio Ávalos, the first miner to reach the surface
Back Story: Copiapó, northern Chile. A shaft in the San José copper and gold mine collapsed on Aug 5, trapping 33 miners inside. Early attempts to rescue them failed, apparently sealing their fate. Days passed. Hope dwindled. Whispers of “no air,” “extreme heat,” “no food; no water; no light” made the rounds. More time passed. Talk of stopping the rescue efforts began, but the families of these 33 men refused to give up hope.
“They’re miners,” they said. “They know what they’re doing, and they are alive down there,” they insisted. And they were right. Continue reading
Let’s face it, with 2,700 miles of coastline, Chile is a maritime country, and the national Armada (that’s Navy) pulls some weight. This year’s Bicentennial Celebrations included a Naval Review. Some 300 ships from Chile and 5 other countries participated, and the Air Force joined in for good measure.
Chile's Bicentennial Naval Review, Wulff Castle in Viña del Mar
Although the Parada Militar (check out images of that from last year) takes place every year, this is just the 13th Naval Review–the first took place 100 years ago to mark the Centennial Celebration. Continue reading
Cachando Chile readers have noticed an unusually long quiet spell of late, and some have written to ask me why. To date, my answer has been the same: cosas personales / It’s personal. For now, let’s just say that my family and I have been hit by a series of our own personal terremotos in the past month or so that I am not ready to talk about publicly.
I’ve thought about it. I confess that writing has always been very cathartic for me. As a teenager I spent hours pouring my heart out in ridiculously long letters addressed to Ann Landers. But I never sent a single one. The healing process was in the act of writing. And that has me thinking about why I blog. Continue reading