Rescued Miners’ Secrecy Pact Erodes in Spotlight
SAN JOSÉ MINE, Chile — Family members of the 33 miners who were trapped for 69 days had said a special Mass on Sunday would be a chance for the miners to find closure and understanding.
As one of them, Omar Reygadas, 56, left the service and walked with his family to the tent where they had lived while the men were trapped, cameramen and photographers surrounded him. His 2-year-old great-granddaughter was pushed in the mob and began to cry. As Mr. Reygadas picked her up, cameramen moved closer, zooming in.
Wearing a ball cap and sunglasses, Mr. Reygadas remained calm in the media glare, but he revealed little of what the world had been waiting to hear: the miners’ own stories about life in their subterranean prison.
“I’ve had nightmares these days,” Mr. Reygadas said from the cramped tent, as reporters jostled for space. “But the worst nightmare is all of you.”
Saying they had signed a pact not to reveal details about their ordeal, the miners have said little since Wednesday’s rescue. But many have made clear that the bidding had begun for their personal accounts, reflecting the complexity behind a feel-good story of hope and perseverance that was always encumbered by the economic challenges faced by Chile’s miners.
On Saturday, in an area of squatter homes in the Juan Pablo Segundo slum of Copiapó, a city about an hour from the mine, reporters milled in front of the home of Carlos Mamani, 24, a Bolivian.
Verónica Quispe, his wife, said they were charging for interviews, even with reporters from Bolivia, where Mr. Mamani is considered a national hero. She said they were traveling there this week to discuss a job offer Mr. Mamani received from President Evo Morales.
“We’re poor — look at the place we live,” Ms. Quispe said, squinting under the desert sun. “You live off our stories, so why can’t we make money from this opportunity to feed our children?”