A year after Chilean miners made international headlines, some are still struggling

It was a year ago that the Chilean miners trapped in Copiapo made international headlines with their miraculous rescue. All 33 miners became instant celebrities. Some were able to use their fame by traveling around the world giving motivational speeches. Some are receiving individual therapy, receiving government pensions and then there are those who are jobless and struggling to make ends meet.

Chile became a country that was well respected around the world during the successful rescue dubbed, Operation San Lorenzo, named after the patron saint of the miners. The Chilean President took advantage of the miners story to boost his popularity. Everything was going well as long as he kept reminding the people about the Chilean miners. The miners were treated better overseas than in their own country.

Once the honeymoon was over and it was time for the President to get to work, Chileans and the world got to see a different Chilean country. Soon we realize that every miner was marching to its own beat and the government who had promised that they were going to look out for them pretty much abandoned them.

Thanks to the student uprising, the world soon realized how messed up the education system is in Chile. The students have been out in the streets for months demanding educational reforms. The students led by Camila Vallejo have gone on record that they no longer want the education system to be privatized and want the education system to be free like it was during the government years of Salvador Allende.

The student uprising has shown the true colors of the economic system that was imposed during Pinochet dictatorship. It has galvanized the whole country to stand behind the students demands and seek comprehensive reforms in the education system.

It will be interesting to see how Chile and the world remember the 33 miners. It is very important to pay attention to the current political climate that exist in Chile. Last year, there was an article that stated that Capitalism saved the miners. I wonder what would the author say about the current situation that Chile is going through right now. Has Capitalism saved Chileans? I personally think that had Allende’s government not been sabotage by the United States, Chile would have been a country to emulate. During Allende’s government, the education system was free, schools provided free breakfast to students, he nationalize the copper, provided families with the basic human needs and the workers were well treated and respected. No corporation could take advantage of its worker.The workers were well organized and actively working to make their government and country move forward.

If the miners story was a story bout Hope and Courage, may the current political system in Chile give the students the hope and courage to transform Chile where it will benefit the 99% and not the 1%.

Here is the video of the famous miner who brought the world to its feet.

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