The Mines - Arbeitsbedingungen in bolivianischen Minen

Ohne weiteren Kommentar von mir hier ein Auszug aus einer E-Mail, die mir eine sich zur Zeit in Bolivien befindliche Kommilitonin geschrieben hat:

Betreff: The Mines

After having visited a textile market outside of Sucre and having bought some of Sucres famous chocolate, we took the bus to the mining town of Potosí.
Visiting the co-operative mines was an experience that I can definately say I will not ever forget as it has left an unbelievable impact on me. The city itself is very nice (also highest city in the world), to its time it was the most populated and richest city in south america, however, apart from the architecture, the city cries as a permanant black cloud hangs over it. After getting suited up we visited the miners market where the miners go every morning to prepare for their day.

They buy explosives- which can be bought by anyone even children, coca leaves- which u need a licence to sell, alcohol, cigarettes, everything. The type of explosives they used was the first shocker. After putting the exploisive together, they have to bite on it to seal it- however, if they dont bite on exactly the right spot, it explodes.
Coca leaves is what they chew all day. It quenches hunger, thurst and tiredness. It also filters out 90% of the chemicals in the mines which is alot but does not change the fact that most of the miners dont live more then 15 years in the mines as they readily contract silicosis pneumonia .

The alcohol that they sell at the market isnt regular alcohol like we know- its over 90% alcohol- which after seeing the mines became clear to me that it is the only thing they live for. The miners work eight hour days, at least, and around christmas they work up to 14 hours in order to save money for the holidays. They work tuesday to friday- mondays are slower because from the time work ends on friday they start to drink until the weekend is over, and so mondays are usually days of recuperation before it starts all over again.
The mines itself, are cold in some parts but the further down you go the hotter it gets. Some miners work in temperatures up to 30 degress. They shovel and dig in places so narrow and tiny that they need to lay down and attach a bag to their foot which houses all the minerals they extract.

The walls of the mines are full of intoxidized chemicals. the miners dont wear respritory proteciton as it is too expensive and so they breath in all the chemicals. Explosions are done wherever, clothing is not specified, and specific protection is not inforced as there is no higher power ordering humanic working condtions. Doing so would be more expensive and would mean less income.
The working conditions would be illegal in western countries- even in the middle ages in germany conditions were better. Due to this, many deaths are unnecessary and could be avoided.

The history of the mines shows that since the colonisation period things havent changed much. During the three centuries of colonial rule as many as 8 million indigenous and african slaves working in the mines died of diseases, accidents or toxic chemicals. We visited the mines on a monday, which although my travel guide instructed otherwise, I was very happy about.
For me, the most shocking and the greatest brush with reality was the fact that people like me go in with their cameras that cost more then a 2 months wage, and take pictures and leave agian to continue with their travels while the workers, or better said, the animals in the zoo are left to continue.

It has been over a week since I have visited the mines, and it seems like yesterday, so fresh in my memory. The 3 hours i spent inside have changed the way i see things and they way I look at people and the world. The poverty and the living conditions I have seen here do not even compare to that of the mines.
Not everyone can be as “lucky” as I have been to see the things that makes a person think twice before complaining about work or life for that matter, but I hope that with my description you will all see that nothing in this world is understood- especially for those people living outside of the western world. cherish what u have as most people would die for a taste of freedom and equality.

Dieser Eintrag wurde am Donnerstag, den 5. Oktober 2006 von DaRockwilda geschrieben und in die Kategorie Allgemein eingeordnet. Du kannst alle Kommentare zu diesem Artikel mit dem RSS 2.0 Feed beobachten. Du kannst eine Antwort hinterlassen, oder durch einen Trackback auf diesen Artikel verlinken.

Kommentar von Jonas am 5. Oktober um 13:45 Uhr

schön, dass hier jemand die andere Seite unserer globalisierten Welt gesehen hat.

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