Media

Chilean Miners Break Secrecy Pact

The 33 Chilean miners who were trapped underground for two months signed a pact to not reveal their story, but some have begun asking for money for interviews. “We’re poor—look at the place we live,” asks the wife of Carlos Mamani, who has returned to his home in Bolivia. “You live off our stories, so why can’t we make money from this opportunity to feed our children?” Miners have asked for anywhere from $40 to $25,000; some media outlets have offered to fly them to Japan, Germany, or Italy for exclusive interviews. A Japanese outlet paid $500 for an interview with Florencio Ávalos, the first of the miners to be rescued, but then complained “It felt like he was withholding details.” The New York Post, meanwhile, combs through the interviews the miners have given. Did they ever worry about cannibalism? "Once [help came] it became a topic of joking, but only once it was over," says Richard Villarroel.