Photo: Chilean Miners
Chilean First Lady Cecilia Morel traveled to Copiapó on behalf of President Piñera and awarded 14 of the 33 miners a lifetime monthly salary of 250,000 Chilean pesos, almost $540. The miners themselves chose the group of fourteen who would not have to work for the rest of their lives.
During a small ceremony at the Atacama Regional Museum, Mrs. Morel said that these pensions were a part of the government’s commitment to not abandon the miners, as their traumatic experience and larger-than-life rescue has made them a part of Chilean history.
Juan Carlos Aguilar, Jorge Galleguillos, Mario Gómez, pastor José Henriquez, Former soccer player Franklin Lobos, Juan Illanes, the miner who wrote the little paper José Ojeda, Omar Reygadas, cousins Esteban and Pablo Rojas, Victor and Darío Segovia, the miner with a mistress Yonni Barrios and the group leader Luis Urzúa were the miners chosen based on their health, age and life situation in a vote among all 33.
Urzúa thanked the government’s gesture and emphasized that accepting the lifetime pension awards doesn’t mean they’ll withdraw the lawsuit the miners filed against the Chilean State.