Letters: Perspectives on the Chile mine rescue

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The Independent Online

When the going gets tough

The Chilean miners appear to have been let down by politicians, lawyers and accountants. It was the engineers and scientists who got them out of the hole and the medics who will now tend them. The people of Britain should reflect on this, considering our own plight.

Albert Winsor, Newcastle upon Tyne

Beware the media circus

It would be gratifying if the media were to give pride of place in their reporting to the engineers who were responsible for the rescue of the miners, including I believe engineers from other countries who gave advice. Without these competent, ingenious and hard-working people nothing could have been done.

As usual of course we are seeing a media circus which focuses on emotion (which is understandable) and on politicians and exhibitionists who had nothing to do with the difficult job which has been so successfully accomplished. Credit where credit is due please, and let us hope that the continuing media circus does not do more damage to the miners than their incarceration did.

Dudley Dean, Maresfield, East Sussex

What about the oppressed?

Next week's visit to London by Chilean President Piñera will by no means be universally welcomed.

When the euphoria over the rescue of the trapped miners recedes, let us remember that Chile was founded on violence against the indigenous Mapuche nation, and throughout the 19th century Chile embarked on a policy of the destruction of the Mapuche. The political power in Chile remains in the hands of the minority descended from Europeans.

Anti-terrorist legislation introduced during the Pinochet era is still used exclusively against the Mapuche people. Mapuche demands include political and territorial rights, autonomy and self-determination, rights recognised in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

During the past 10 years in Chile ethnic persecution has risen at an alarming rate. Currently, 37 Mapuche political leaders are detained in various prisons in southern Chile.

Eilian Williams, Nant Peris, Gwynedd

No rescue for them

On the day the world witnessed the Chilean President embracing each of the rescued miners, Downing Street was preparing to throw a birthday party for the woman who signalled ruin for thousands of British miners 20 years before. I sincerely hope that this celebration was not at the taxpayers' expense.

Caolan Byrne, London N8