The entrapment and eventual release of 33 Chilean miners provoked a media frenzy. But beneath the self-serving sympathy of Chile's politicians lies the real story of solidarity.
"Renewing the wooden piles increased the cost of the mineral, so they were allowed to fall into disrepair. The result was that [they] were continually having to carry out an injured man or sometimes a miner killed when the roof collapsed in the deadly corridor. But the company always persuaded the men to return for a few cents more..." - Baldomero Lillo, El chiflon del diablo.
Lillo wrote his stories of the Chilean mines at the beginning of the 20th century. How little conditions have changed in the first decade of the 21st.