James Walton

From working-class heroes to Disney World mascots: the sad fate of the Chilean miners

A review of Deep Down Dark, by Hector Tobar. The Chilean miners thought they were screwed trapped underground – but they were even more screwed when they got out

On 5 August 2010, 33 men entered the remote San José mine in Chile’s Atacama desert to begin their 12-hour shift. They came out again 69 days later, to be greeted by the country’s president in front of a worldwide TV audience of around 1.2 billion. A group of workers who, in many cases, had never left the local area in their lives were now global heroes.

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