There has been a rush of women coming forward and claiming relationships with the miners in order to gain government benefits. At least five of the miners have had multiple women claim family benefits and experts believe there will be more.
Marta Flores, a Red Cross worker said: “There has been a lot of conflict between women.”
“We had a big bust up in the canteen tent when a wife came across a woman who claimed to be her husband’s lover - we had to step in and pull them apart before things got physical.”
Flores added: “Unfortunately the conflict stems from money issues…Some of the men have children from numerous women and all of them have arrived here to stake their claim. I’ve met five families in this situation but I’m sure there are more.”
Special councilors trained in marital issues have been brought in to help women who have been confronted by their husband’s infidelity. Some women arrived at camp only to learn that their partner already had a wife and children that they knew nothing about. There is a case reported where a miner had a first wife that he never divorced, a live-in partner who is the mother of a child with the miner born several years ago and also a women is claiming to be his current girlfriend, and they are all living at the camp.
“It’s a logistical nightmare trying to keep them apart and of course they all want to send messages,” Flores was quoted as saying.
One of the miners, Yonni Barrios Rojas, miner, is likely to have to face some difficult questions when he surfaces.
His wife, Marta Salinas, has found out that he had a mistress. The mistress, Susana Valenzuela, said they met on a training course five years ago and he planned to leave his wife for her.
“He is my husband. He loves me and I am his devoted wife…This other woman has no legitimacy,” said Salinas.