Thursday, October 14, 2010

Chile: So now what?

The future is uncertain for the 33 Chilean miners rescued after being trapped underground for seventy days. For now the survivors are hospitalized though they are in very good health according to Dr. Jorge Montes, assistant director of the Copiapo Hospital. “Some are suffering from minor complications, but nothing to worry about," Montes mentioned and added that most of the men could be released from hospital as early as today.

Despite Montes’ positive prognosis, there remains the possibility that the survivors may have physiological trauma or other physical ailments. According to CNN health officials warned that there prolonged isolation could make them “more susceptible to the common cold or other viruses.”

After being the final worker rescued last night, shift leader Luis Urzua expressed his hope to President Sebastian Pinera that the rescue “should never happen again”. Pinera said today that he couldn’t guarantee future mining accidents yet vowed to improve safety regulations in various industries nationwide. “Never again in our country will we allow working in conditions so inhumane and so unsafe as happened in the San Jose mine” said Pinera who may soon introduce a series of reforms.

The rescue operation became a global media phenomenon with massive coverage via the Internet and from 24-hour TV news networks worldwide. The coverage hasn’t been universally praised; Tom Scocca of took exception to the New York Times characterization of the rescue as Pinera’s “extraordinary political calculation”:
In addition to being Chile's top-ranked politician, though, the president of Chile does have another role: he serves as the country's president. So beyond the very important tasks of maintaining his popularity and raising his international profile, is it possible that Piñera was trying to—how to say this?—lead his country?
Image- CNN (“Mario Gomez is escorted through Copiapo Hospital in Copiapo, Chile, on Wednesday.”)
Online Sources- CNN, Voice of America, The Latin Americanist, BBC News, Vancouver Sun,

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