The most inspirational moment of 2010 was perhaps the miners finally being freed after the Copiapo mining accident. After two months of being trapped underground following a mine collapse, the 33 finally returned to the surface with cries of “viva Chile!” It was such a profound moment that Hollywood immediately snapped up the film rights, and the entire world was left basking in the warm afterglow of unexpected good news.
Now, though, the story is painfully tragic. Most of the miners are unemployed, struggling with depression, and surrounded by people resentful of their fame. As an additional kick in the teeth, the mine’s insurance company had given them all a clean bill of health, despite some of them being so traumatized they could barely leave the house. One was so shaken up by his ordeal that he couldn’t stop crying, while others reported that former friends now shunned them.
The mine owners have yet to pay a penny in compensation. A lawsuit is currently dragging its way through the courts, but its resolution could take years.