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It was, countless newspapers and magazines informed us, the “most triumphant” story of 2010. The rescue of 33 Chilean miners in October, who spent 69 days trapped 2,000 feet underground after a tunnel collapsed, was broadcast live from the San José copper and gold mine near Copiapó, a provincial capital in the Atacama Desert, to a massive world audience. After weeks of suspense, the event was “inspirational,” “spectacular,” “captivating,” and “miraculous,” to quote just a few adjectives from the coverage.
As one of the millions who could not take their eyes off the rescue pod as it jerkily ascended, I can attest to feeling more than captivated. Having studied and lived in Chile for good parts of the last 40 years, I smiled, cried, and shouted with everyone else. Chi-chi-chi-le-le-le! Viva Chile!
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