A People United Rescue 33 Souls In Chile
As the last of the 33 Chilean miners was pulled to safety tonight in Copiapo, in Northern Chile, experts are marveling at the leadership and wisdom which led to the miner’s survival. Likely, the thinking behind an old Latino chant,
“A people united, will never be divided” will be part of the success story.
“This is the place in which we meet” one of the miners, likely Mario Sepúlveda, said as he gave an astounded world press, including viewers on FOX News, a tour of the living quarters via a black and white broadcast camera dropped into the mine over 17 days after it had collapsed.
Mario Sepúlveda celebrating after rescue original photo from UK.CO
“We have a meeting every day in which the decisions we take are based upon the approval in some form of the 33 who are here.”
Rescued miner drops to his knees in prayer, photo from Terra
"And we pray together," the miner said during the first video tour.
Pulling together and making mutual sacrifices is part of this great story of man against nature that might have been written in tragic terms absent great leadership. Luis Urzúa, a 54-year-old shift foreman, is credited with helping the miners find their group conscience and pull together. He took charge of rationing the food and encouraged the miners to work together as a team.
Urzúa talked about the first days after the cave-in. He spoke about how disheartening it was to see the rock-fall. He said it took over three hours for the dust to clear just so the miners could assess the damage.
"The most difficult moment was when the air cleared and we saw the rock," Urzúa said in broadcast remarks from the rescue site. "I had thought maybe it was going to be a day or two days, but when I saw the rock ..." (I knew it would be much longer).
Urzúa helped establish order by assigning tasks and keeping the men who were entombed in a dark cavern active and in good spirits. He insured that they had responsibilities and that each one had a voice.
One of the first decisions was about food. How much of the limited rations should be consumed? The Chilean authorities spoke of needing a long time to get them out. After discussing the issue, the group agreed to a small serving of tuna with milk every 48 hours.Continued on the next page